there’s no free lunch



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday February 28th 2018


Heck it’s cold. Even though Hairy One has two thick coats, I still feel I need to leave the heating on low for her at night as the back room is never as warm as the rest of the house. The problem is I have to get up early in the morning to turn it up again.

She seems fine with the arrangement and is still perfectly happy to prance around outside whatever the temperature. It’s -2 during the day today, -7 tonight, but we only have brief flurries, not serious snow like they’re getting along the East side of the country. Snow expected again tomorrow and Friday, more serious snow, may be. Isis will be delighted.

But on Friday, it is predicted, the temperature will begin to rise and continue to rise over the weekend before peeing it down on Monday and continuing to do so for at least the rest of the week. Isis will like that too. Anything interesting falling out of the sky pleases her: snow, rain, sleet, autumn leaves.

It’s the coming in bit and its aftermath which she’s not so keen on.

Especially the aftermath.

Her paws and the backs of her legs are caked with thick, black mud. Yes, Isis, all four of them need to be cleaned. And your whiskers.

Hopefully, I’ve remembered to close the kitchen door – with the door handle on the inside.

Yes, I have. Isis sits, leaning miserably against it, well aware of her fate.  As I’ve mentioned before, I think that a cruel person in her early life must have done something very  nasty to her legs, because she hates them being touched.

I soak cloths in warm water and gently wipe the top of each front paw, then the back of each leg, then each paw. This thoughtfulness is rewarded by low, but threatening growls. The growls become much louder and considerably more threatening as I move to her back legs.


Oh don’t be so silly.


For goodness sake.


Just be grateful you’re not a centipede.


There’s no snapping nowadays. We know we don’t snap at Human. Ever.

The wiping of her muddy, snake gripping jaws, whiskers and her beard doesn’t elicit growls. It’s very hard to growl when one’s jaws, whiskers and beard are being wiped. Instead the ingrate shakes her head vigorously from side to side.

When I begin to dry her whiskers with a soft towel, the scene changes immediately. Now we are all sweetness and light, a very different dog. Her tail is wagging and she lifts her head up towards me in a gesture which I can only think of as benevolent. If dogs could smile, it would be a smile.

Being dried is nice. It also designates an end to canine suffering. Human must be almost finished.

And , of course, we are bound to get a treat.

“It’s for compensation, dear, not good behaviour”, I tell her.


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 or

This entry was posted in I'm off my lead!, Isis at home, Isis is no angel, relationship building, running, teaching my deaf/blind dog, training and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to there’s no free lunch

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this lovely update xx


  2. Amber Lipari says:

    You evoke a very sweet scene 🙂


    • Do I? Well, I guess it had its moments. And, in retrospect, she was amazingly tolerant, considering. Do let me know how you get on with the dog buggie. I got a second hand one for my little Ellie when she was ill. It was one you could fix to a bicycle or push, but sadly, she died two days after I fetched it. It stood in the back room for almost three months until H from Dogwatch UK came to do a home check before I had Isis and asked to buy it for her elderly dog.
      I hope you all have many happy outings in it.


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