Wednesday December 21st 2016
Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
What a strange little dog you are, Isis. When you walk through the front gate and someone has the temerity to walk on ‘your’ stretch of pavement, you carry on like a police dog who’s just pinned down the criminal. And if you arrive home and find that someone has walked up to your front door and touched it while you were away, you throw yourself around and bark loud enough to be heard in the next street.
Yet when Adopted Niece, whom you know quite well, arrives to stay with us, you are positively shy. You don’t bark at her, of course. You know who she is. You just spin around to pick up her scent. But after a few minutes, you retreat upstairs and take yourself to bed. Why do you do that?
And you really want the gravy bone B. gives you in the morning, but when naughty Nancy – who always has an eye on the main chance – pushes her face up against yours, waiting for you to drop a bit, you don’t protest. When you try to reorganise the gravy bone in your mouth so that you can eat it and she pinches it, you don’t even growl, you just look sad.
I think you lack self-esteem.
And, another strange thing. K. calls today and can’t believe how big you are. She’s not the first one. For months now, people who haven’t seen you for a while keep telling me how much you’ve grown. Very odd. I explain that you can’t have as you were already two when you arrived. But they insist that it’s not just your weight gain or the fact that you have your fluffy winter coat on, you are definitely taller and longer, altogether upsized!
Although it has its ups and downs, today’s an interesting day for you. K. brings presents, and there’s one for you. It’s fat and knobbly, and you know immediately that it’s a parcel for a dog. Mean Human places it out of reach.
When we walk, I take off your lead and you follow me happily enough along the narrow, muddy little path. But then we walk up onto the mound where you like to dance; however, you don’t dance. You sit down and look worried. When I touch you, your tail wags. When I put you back on your lead, you dance quite merrily.
Then we go down to the patch you like by the rose bay willow herbs. You’re pleased to be there. But as soon as I remove your lead, you stop sniffing and sit down. I wait. You sit. I wait some more. But you remain seated. Again, when I touch you, your tail wags, but when I tap you under your chin, you mime a snap and you won’t move.
Lead back on and you’re happy again. Perhaps, like humans, sometimes you feel confident and sometimes you don’t.
After leaving Highbury park, we stop at the garage. The man leans into the car to release the bonnet catch. (He’s safe because you’re attached to your safety strap.)
“YOFF!”, you shout at him. Brave now you are, and defending your territory again.
Back home we go.
Later, cooking’s happening. As our visitor is a carnivore, tantalising smells waft through from the kitchen, and in you come, your beautiful pink, spotty nose uplifted and twitching. Snuff, snuff. Meat. What a lovely surprise for a dog.
You get some bits, of course, and you’re very pleased.
Interesting day for a dog.
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