Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday January 10th 2016
People’s goodwill towards and concern about Isis never cease to give me an inner glow. Still, virtually every day, someone remarks how lovely it is to see her running, playing, looking so confident, seeming so happy and/or enjoying herself.
These are not only people whom we know well, but strangers who must have observed our early park visits when it took fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes to entice Isis from the car; when we crept along the paths with our tug, stop, sit, lie down, another tug, another forward – or, quite often, backward, step; when, under duress, we did a nervous, crouchy, creep along the side of a wall or hedge; when we beat a hasty retreat, tail between legs, whenever we were close to a new person or dog.
And, since we have been spending an hour or so each day leaping around on the grass which borders Reaside Road, we have met other people, walkers, cyclists or dog owners who have never seen her before but smile at her gymnastics and stop to chat about her and to wish us well.
Our leapings and chasings have been greatly enhanced by our new eight metre long Flexi retractable lead. Last week we tried another brand which boasted a flat tape rather than a round cord. I guess this was introduced for safety reasons: the thin cord can inflict painful burns on the hands of the unwary – or the dozy.
But this lead was very unresponsive, retracting so slowly that it repeatedly became entangled around poor Isis’s legs. It also jammed several times when fully retracted. After only two days, it stayed jammed so I exchanged it for the excellent Flexi.
The Flexi zips out like an arrow as Isis shoots off and retracts just as speedily. It responds fluidly to her movements, soaring in and out with ease as she flops down with her ‘prey’, pops up again, sweeps along like the wind or circles on her hind legs snapping at the rain flies.
Now she has the maximum degree of freedom I can allow her without jeopardising her safety and it’s exhilarating to watch her.
And, although the grass is very wet, there’s no mud. So she comes home clean.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk