Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday February 3rd 2016
Yes, heavy drizzle and grey skies on Sunday, so Hairy One’s fortunes change for the better. Ji. and I take her to Highbury Park. Despite the sunny traumas of the previous day, she is keen to jump out of the car and sets off happily, sniffing her way along the path. Once or twice she cowers as the sun leaps out from behind the grayness to her right but I hurry her along, telling her to look the other way. And, obligingly, the brightness is only momentary.
She hasn’t completely recovered from last week’s traumas. This is easy to see, because she walks along beside me like a well-trained dog. But she is much more relaxed than she has been and enjoys her walk doing normal doggy things like snorting into clumps of grass, following scents, peeing on especially significant smells and digging in a heap of bark chips.
I decide not to return to the scene of her Reaside fright until perfect weather conditions prevail, i.e. it’s so wet and gloomy that there is no chance of the sky lightening for at least the next ninety minutes.
The wind is so strong over the weekend that, by Monday, I manage to discover an area on the big field at Kings Heath Park which is not ankle deep in mud. We return to this area again on Tuesday evening and Isis zooms merrily around trying hard to pull me towards the boggier bits. One would think that if you couldn’t see, you would at least slow down and be surprised when you hit water. But not Isis. Her pace doesn’t vary.
Suddenly, as I attempt to prevent her from enjoying a mud bath, she twitches backwards and, heaving mightily, manages to drag her hairy head out of her harness – which I had tightened up only a few days ago after her latest escape bid.
A small boy nearby who is being taught football skills, huddles against his coach as Isis bears down on them, head lowered like a little white bull.
“She won’t jump on you,” I bawl, “she can’t see!”
He’s not convinced and huddles even closer. They both stand and watch as I desperately chase the hairy white tornado who canters round in ever increasing loops.
She slows down. In vain I leap towards her as she gathers speed once more and pounds on faster and faster. Even though there’s not a hope of catching her, I bumble behind for five or six very long minutes watched by a mesmerised little footballer and his coach. Although we are, fortunately, several hundred yards from the main road, I fantasize cars and fluffy white heaps. In spite of this, I can’t help enjoying her delight in the huge space, her pleasure in her unexpected freedom. Back and forth we go, up and down and round and round. She does not tire easily and this, I reflect, could go on for a very long time.
A touch of bathos. She stops for a poop.
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