Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday September 14th 2016
Isis is thoroughly enjoying her afternoon walks in Highbury Park. So much for a dog to do: twirling, dancing, leaping, snuffling, hunting, paddling.
It’s Monday and she insists on hanging out by a fallen tree. It is well embedded in the soil and grass and she is sure that somebody is living under it. Scritch, scritch. She goes along the side, scraping up the grass and getting her front toes under the curve of the bark.
And “Flerf! Flerf! she adds, huffing into the darkness. But nothing emerges. Floof! She leaps merrily over the trunk to the other side where she repeats the scritching and flerfing.
Still nothing emerges. She pops back to the other side, repeats her noisy investigations, then pops back and does it all over again. Four times, five times ……….. seven ………. ten … I stop counting after fourteen but am pretty sure that she jumps back and forth over the trunk at least forty times, perhaps more.
I resist the urge to move on. She’s not bored. I used to think that she wouldn’t get enough out of her park time if she stayed in the same area for so long, but realise that I was looking at the situation from my point of view, not Hairy One’s. Since her vision and hearing are so restricted, it makes perfect sense that she enjoys exploring a small area, revisiting all the enticing smells and textures in it, and meeting its challenges. At first, for example, she scrambles over the tree trunk, but soon she is sailing over it. She enters the tall grass with a low slung snuffle up and down the stems but soon she is bounding over the seed heads, ears and tail streaming out behind her.
So, generally, I let her go where she wants and stay as long as she likes. There are some exceptions. From the fascinating tree trunk she moves onto an exceptionally dense thicket of tall weeds and saplings. Disentangling her five metres of extending lead twice is quite enough, thank you, and I firmly turn down the offer of a third foray.
Not a little peeved, she then settles down to a good romp in a sunny hollow where the stems of the grasses are black with thousands of midges. The midges are evidently not amused when their roosting places are smacked by bits of twisting Isis, and they fly up in cross clumps, circling round my face.
“We – are – not – staying – here”, I pant, winding her in with difficulty.
Time for a paddle in the stream.
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