Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday December 6th 2017
Isis: I love my lane! I have a very good time there. Tuesday is great fun.
Human: Tuesday is a right pain. It’s a perfect walking day for Isis, utterly grey, no sign of sun. First, I oversleep and S. and R. thoughtfully don’t disturb me so Isis misses her walk.
I: When we get to my lane, Human, as usual, takes ages to open the gate, dog knows why.
H: Isis sits nicely while I struggle with the heavy latch, heave up the even heavier gate stop and fiddle with the key which is particularly stiff in the padlock today.
I: We’ve wasted so much time already that I don’t bother to stop and sniff, I run straight up to the corner and dance and dance and dance.
H: Once I’ve closed the gate behind us, I let Isis off the lead and follow her. She’s moving so fast that I don’t think she’ll stop to investigate the entrance to her latest escape route.
She seems determined to stay in her corner spot, and I’m tired so, with great difficulty, I manage to slide down the side of a nearby garage and sit on a concrete post which is lying flat on the grass.
I: That was wonderful, so invigorating. But one can’t stay in the same place all day. Off I trot. Wow! I can smell kitty.
H: Sigh. Struggling up from the post is even harder than sitting down on it, but something tells me that she’s heading towards the gap between the garages. Again, a speedy limp is called for. She’s already galloped into the recess. At least the gap is now stuffed with brambles.
I: I knew it was kitty. It’s gone through the gap. Quick! Quick! I’m ahead of Human.
H: I reach the recess just in time to see naughty Hairy One leaping up onto the brambles. They are dying now so maybe they don’t feel so prickly. I can’t believe it. I stumble over and just manage to stop her scrambling up and over them. When I reach her, I yell, “No!” very loudly. I have to haul her off several times before she stops. Brilliant for the damaged shoulders.
Oh Isis! How could you?
I: Dog, she’s a miserable git. She’s serious. I can feel very hostile vibrations. I’ll trot further on, play a bit at the end of the track and then, when she’s caught up with me, I’ll trot back to the gap.
H: I know she’ll not give up until she’s battered her way through, so I go to the store of old planks which R. raided a few weeks ago to reinforce another gap, and carry three, one by one, back to the bramble gap. Needless to say, I watch Hairy One’s every move like a hawk watches a vole.
It’s hard work shoving the planks up into the tangled clematis stems and jamming them back down.
Sigh. I wander back up to Isis.
I: O.K. Now’s my chance. I’ll just trot. No way she’ll catch up with me.
H: Little toad. I can read her like the proverbial book.
I: Whoopee! I’ve made it! She’s way behind.
H: I reach the recess. There is Isis standing at the mouth of the gap. This time, she doesn’t attempt to launch herself onto the brambles. She lifts her nose high in the air and sniffs hard – in disbelief, I think. She knows the planks are there, of course; nevertheless, she returns to the gap several times just to make sure.
I: Right, I’ll go back up to the top then.
H: Oh no you won’t. I tickle her whiskers with a spray cut from the private hedge, and eventually we make our way to the gate. Amazingly, she seems quite content for me to lead her to the gate without protest.
I’ve just closed the gate behind us (of course) when I realise that I’ve only one glove. Yes, there it is lying on the grass about twenty feet along the track.
I fight the gate but whatever I do, it refuses to open. After about ten minutes I give up and we go next door to E’s house to ask for help. No, it’s not me. Ed struggles too. Eventually he discovers that the latch has jammed so that a sliver of it, unnoticeable at first, is still not free of the lock. E. manages to shift it and we retrieve the glove.
I: This is brilliant, we’re going for another walk.
H: Isis is being very stubborn and defiant. She digs in her little heels and refuses to move. The extended lead is round my waist and I tug and tug and tug. She responds by pulling her harness over her head. Cursing under my breath, I reel her in, her harness now hanging round her collar. I am cross, tired and cold when I step into a pile of dog poo which some dirty so and so has left hidden among the leaves and grass. Great.
I: Dog, she’s in a rotten mood. What’s the matter with her. And why did we go back into The Lane if I was going to get dragged out again?
Later, as I set off for the post box just a few houses up, J., the kind crossing warden, waves and comes over the road. He’s been talking to N. the butcher opposite, who thinks that I dropped something on the pavement on my way back from our walk.
Kind J. takes my letters to the post while I trudge wearily in the opposite direction. I’m glad I do, because there, on the slabs, is my best hat, a present from Adopted Niece.
To round off the day I spend some time scraping the mess out of the deeply ridged soles of my walking boots.
Isis stretches out on the futon and dozes.
It’s all right for some.
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 email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk