Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday May 10th 2017
Last Saturday a lively little staffie which I’d not met before trotted up to Isis while she was executing a slow waltz in Highbury Park.
Isis, of course, ignored her and continued her dance, whereupon little staffie approached me and looked up, waiting for me to succumb to her charms.
I asked her person whether his dog liked to be fussed and he assured me that there was nothing she liked better. She enjoyed some strokes and pats before trotting off in search of entertainment.
I asked her age – as you do – and her person told me that she’s about ten.
She was so obviously well bonded with her owner and so responsive to him that I assumed that he’d had her from a puppy. I was wrong, it turned out. He had, he explained, had her for less than two years.
Although he had always liked dogs, he had not been looking to acquire one. He had a much loved cat at home and was perfectly happy with him.
One evening, however, as he was returning home from work, he stood at the junction of two very busy roads waiting for the pedestrian lights to change. To his horror he saw a small, brown dog trotting up and down on the opposite pavement. He watched the dog anxiously. Was it with someone? If not, would a passer-by intervene if it left the pavement?
Traffic swung into the road from the busy junction and roared by on both sides of the road. The dog approached the kerb, veered away, approached again.
The lights seemed permanently stuck on red. By the time they changed to green the man’s hands were clenched and his stomach churning.
He dashed across the road and carefully approached the dog. He looked for an owner, expecting that at any minute some distraught person would rush up and claim the animal. He questioned passers-by. No, it didn’t belong to anyone, and no-one could recall having seen it in the area before.
The small brown dog was a female, he noted, and she had no I. D. He had nothing with which to secure her, not even a piece of string.
He looked at her.
She looked at him.
He stepped back away from the pavement.
She stepped back away from the pavement too.
They eyeballed one another.
He moved a step or two forward.
So did she.
They looked at each other again. She, beseechingly, he felt.
She followed him all the way home.
When they reached his house, he turned and regarded her very seriously.
“O.K. then”, he said, “You can come in – but if you chase my cat, you’re out.”
Resident feline, not thrilled at the appearance of a strange dog, hissed fiercely. After that, the animals got on famously.
When she was taken to be checked out next day the vet found her microchip and attempted to contact the owner. But no-one wanted to claim her.
“If you want her”, said the vet, “keep her.”
He called her ‘Shimono’.
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