Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday November 8th 2017
Isis is sleeping. She is well exercised, calm and relaxed.
I am not sleeping. I, too, am well exercised, but I am not calm and relaxed.
This morning the sun is shining very brightly so, sadly, there’s no hope of Isis walking to the park with the Pet Angels.
This afternoon I decide that we will venture instead to the lane behind the house. It’s very cold so I wriggle painfully into my warm coat.
When I look for the key to the lane gate, it’s not in its usual place. Then I remember that I decided to keep it somewhere where it wouldn’t get lost. I must have put it on my key ring. Yes, that one must be it.
Isis helpfully leaps about in the porch so that it is impossible to put on her harness. Eventually, after three attempts and three withdrawals of human from the site of the fray, Isis stands still and is duly harnessed. In order to protect my shoulders and arms, her lead is fixed to the strong elastic walking belt around my waist.
We totter along the pavement and arrive at the lane. Isis is signed to sit while I attempt to open the gates.
****! The key on the ring is not the one to the gate.
Protesting vigorously, Isis is hauled back to the house. She digs her little toes into the cracks of the pavement, throws herself around and attacks her back feet. Like an ungainly hoola-hooper, I twist and turn and stumble. I hiss very rude words into her angry little face.
Eventually we shuffle our way back inside our own gate and I dash into the house to look for the key.
It’s disappeared. There’s no chance of finding it among the chaotic piles, so I phone my long suffering next door neighbours, who never lose their keys or lock themselves out, and ask to borrow their key.
For a second time Isis and I lurch off along the pavement. Again Isis sits while I tackle the padlock. I remove her lead, and as soon as I tap the ‘forward’ sign under her chin, she trots off merrily along the lane.
Not a good start but I begin to relax as I watch the happy little dog trotting confidently along the lane. When she reaches the far end, she dances at her usual fast tempo close to her favourite garage door. This, I surmise, is where the black and white kitty who claims the lane as her territory lives.
I am very warm in my winter jacket and feel glad to be out as I watch my joyful little dog.
Time passes quickly and soon Isis turns round and begins to sniff and trot back along the lane. I follow behind her. Just as we pass the back of our own house, she pops, as she always does, into a recess where one of the garages is set back from its neighbours.
But when I reach the recess, Isis isn’t there.
I stare in disbelief. The tinkling of her bell is loud and clear. It seems to be coming from over the fence.
It can’t be. There’s no way she could have got over the fence. Or under it. Or round it. There is a gap of about a foot wide between this garage and the next but its full of stones and old sticks and a coil of barbed wire. She couldn’t possibly have disappeared down there.
Perhaps the tinkling is coming from the beginning of the drive where it turns at an angle of forty-five degrees then runs down to the entrance gate.
I hobble down to look. There’s only an expanse of green, not a sign of anything white.
I retrace my footsteps and the tinkling gets louder. It’s definitely coming from over the fence of the next door but one neighbour’s garden.
Standing on tiptoe, I manage to glimpse a flurry of white cloud serenading the flower border.
This is great. Just what I needed.
But how the hell did she get in there?
Once more I examine the gap beside the two garages. I lean forward and peer in. I look closely at the narrow coil of barbed wire. There, caught on one of the barbs is a thin strand of white hair.
Leaving the merry tinkling behind me, I exit the lane, closing and locking the gate behind me, and make my way to the neighbours who are unwittingly hosting a lawnful of Isis.
Needless to say, there is no reply when they ring the bell.
They’re not there.
I return to the house of my next door neighbour. No, she confirms, they’re not there. They’re on holiday, but, thank goodness, she has their key as she needs access to their side of her hedge which is to be cut tomorrow.
Out she comes into the cold. After a struggle with the key, we walk out into the garden.
You’ve guessed. There’s no sign of Isis. I expect that she’s chosen this minute to return to the lane. But no. Just then I catch a bit of white fluffy tail frisking behind a fir tree.
The little horror isn’t particularly pleased to see me but she doesn’t protest as her lead is put on and we walk through the house to the front door.
I thank my neighbour and apologise profusely for the trouble she’s been put to.
The lane is the only place I can manage to take Isis at present. Guess I’ll have to get help to block up any possible – and impossible – escape routes.
We return home and the hairy little *** trots jauntily down the hall.
I look at her happy little face.
I kiss her head.
What can you do?
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