Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday July 31st 2016
While I am in Wales, little Isis spends five days at Holly Trees, Ray Deddicoat’s kennels/rescue centre.
On Tuesday morning, as I pack her bag, I suddenly realise that I have forgotten to sleep in an old T-shirt the night before so that I can leave with her something which smells strongly of me. I recall that I dropped a torn bra in the bedroom bin the day before, hastily retrieve it and stuff it down my shirt front.
Unfortunately, as I park the car outside the kennels, I realise that the bra has disappeared. It has, I hope, dropped out in the house rather than along the way. Hastily, I ram a bright blue fluffy dog toy down my front instead.
This will be her third stay at the kennels and Isis realises where we are as we approach the main gates. She stops abruptly and pulls away, back towards the car. Human, of course, instantly feels guilty. But Adam, one of the full time workers, takes her lead and she trots off obediently beside him.
While I wait for him in the office I notice two teenage volunteers glancing at me rather strangely. Looking down, I see that the fluffy toy is sticking out of my underwear, its head resting suggestively on my collar. I try to assume a nonchalant air and remove it as stealthily as possible. Which, in the circumstances, isn’t very stealthy at all. Oh dear.
Adam comes back and reports that as soon as they reached her quarters Isis popped straight through the doorway into her bedroom. He collects her supplies: a pile of cardboard boxes for her to attack when she is bored, a wad of information about her idiosyncrasies to hang on the outside of her door, a big ball, fluffy toys and her food. When he returns for the second time, he expresses his surprise at how quickly she has settled.
The staff are very sweet with her and she obviously trusts them. They always allocate her the same space so that she is familiar with the layout. I am very grateful that I can leave her here where she appears to feel secure.
I drive away, missing her already and looking forward to picking her up after the weekend. As I pull up outside my house, I spot the lost bra. It is lying conspicuously on the pavement. I don’t bother to look nonchalant, I just stuff it into my pocket as quickly as I can.
After five days away, of course, I can’t wait to collect the hairy pest. Tracey, the kennels manager, fetches her and this time, as soon as Isis is aware of my presence, she wags very enthusiastically and even accepts a cuddle or two. That’s lovely.
Tracey tells me that Hairy One’s behaviour has been excellent and the only odd thing she has done occurred that morning: she flipped her dish in the air and ate her breakfast off the floor.
Well, I think, as Isis makes her way, tail aloft and gently waving, towards the car, we can live with that.
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 email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk