Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday February 10th 2016
There’s no doubt about it, this weather is just too much. Since Isis got the frights while running on the clean grass at Reaside, she doesn’t want to be there any more. As this is the only grass I can find which hasn’t yet turned into a bog, we’re in trouble.
On Sunday and Monday I take her to Highbury Park but even the once mud-free circle among the pine trees has succumbed to squelchiness. She is so filthy that I have to wash her in the stream on both occasions. The second time I have to give her a bath as well. She is not pleased. I try to flatter her but it seems that she doesn’t care that she is the sweetest smelling dog in Birmingham.
On Tuesday morning we have a reprieve in the form of a hard frost. After we have walked round the park with Bev. and Gra., she can run on her retractable lead on the grass.
But deferring gratification does not appeal to Isis. She wants to run now and she knows that we are walking away from her running spot.
She digs in her little hairy heels. I stand still and wait. Her harness has been tightened so I know that she can’t wriggle out of it. But I forget that her usual harness has just been washed so she is wearing a different one. And she has honed her escape strategies. She doesn’t stop to wriggle but flicks back her head and tugs herself from the harness in a second.
Surprisingly, she doesn’t race round in big loops immediately as she always does when released from her walking lead. She trots quickly all the way along the sloping path until she reaches the hedge which is our usual entry point, then loops with abandoned delight. Without a moment’s hesitation, she races up and down the steep bank, neatly circumventing the trees and enjoying herself immensely. Clearly she has an intimate knowledge of this space and feels completely confident.
Fortunately, this area of the park is the furthest away from the road; nevertheless, Bev. and Gra. take up posts along the path at the edge of the grass just in case. Isis, I think, will continue to run for a long, long time.
But Bev. has a brainwave. “Throw her a stick!”, she shouts and gathers an armful of choice ones herself. After a few attempts I manage to land a nice, sprouty one close enough for Hairy One to feel it underfoot. She stops and lies down to play with it.
I grab her.
Maybe you’ve not tried it, but it is, in fact, quite challenging to replace a harness over the head of a dog who has no intention of relinquishing a very large stick. Eventually Bev. manages to snap off one end and Isis is captive once more.
Roll on summer!
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