Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday January 11th 2017
It’s tremendously heartening to see how often people choose to take on rescued dogs or family’s, friends’ or strangers’ dogs who need a new home.
We meet so many rescues in Kings Heath and Highbury parks: there’s Mia the podenco, Kasey the Pyranean, Keiko the akita, poodles Dougie and Fergie, Bertie the Irish Terrier, Gemma, a staffie cross, greyhounds Albert and George, Ruby the goat-herd and many others whose names I can’t recall. It’s fascinating to watch how their personalities slowly emerge as they grow in confidence, and inspiring to see how happy the dogs become.
In October two new little dogs arrived in Highbury Park with their person, St. She adopted them through Serbian Forgotten Paws but they came originally from Romania.
We have met them several times now.
This is little Teddy
and this is his new ‘sister’ Casey.
Although they had never met before they came to live with St., they bonded very quickly and play beautifully together.
When they meet Isis, they both sniff her curiously. She, of course, ignores them. Sadly.
But then, we know that Isis is not a social animal. We guess this is because she is unable to see the body language of other dogs and is therefore unable to read or imitate it. Only once has she offered another dog a play bow. This was bouncy Bella when she was only a pup. Sniffing Bella who had come to greet her, Isis leaped up enthusiastically and plonked her front paws unceremoniously on Bella’s. Not surprisingly, Bella beat a hasty retreat. Poor Isis hasn’t tried another play bow with a dog.
As I have mentioned, though, she gave me several lovely bows when I collected her from the kennels after Christmas.
Usually – and very sensibly, I guess – she steps away from other dogs, especially those she doesn’t know.
I was wondering last week, when Isis was alone and prancing happily on the old bowling green, whether she will have the confidence to play there when the other dogs return from their holidays. I decide it’s unlikely as, previously, when on her extending lead, she has always preferred to escape to the higher ground on the other side of the hedge.
I was wrong. On Monday she can’t wait to get onto the green, and tugs away from the path towards the steep bank until I release her. When she scrambles down, the other dogs are already racing around happily at the bottom end. Isis sniffs around, then, choosing a space beneath a large tree at the top of the bank, pirouettes there joyfully for forty minutes.
I have always been anxious that she will run into and hurt other dogs and their owners. By the time we arrive on Tuesday, a group of ‘our lot’ has already gathered at the top end, a few metres from Hairy One’s favourite place. She sniffs and trots her way to the bottom end where she plays contentedly on her own.
Kind Li., treat giver par excellence, walks all the way down to Hairy One’s playground to take her a treat. Speedy Maggie and Louis follow her hastily, suspecting food.
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