Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday March 14th 2018
Oh, the weather, the weather. Cold, frosty days are easy. No mud. On damp days, we’ve become accustomed to cleaning hairy heels and feet, accompanied, of course, by low, rumbly growls and a kitchen floorful of murky brown puddles.
But Monday is something else. It’s been raining intermittently for days , and the ground is sodden. And I mean sodden. Because Isis likes to dance on the same stretch on every visit, the once clean, fresh grass is now scarred and churned. And Isis is raring to go.
No problem if I could just lift her into the sink to wash her, but I can’t.
Ah, but I could direct her to the other end of the track where it’s still clean and green. Good thinking. A little prod, and off she goes. What an obliging animal. While she gets on with her ecstatic capers, I shield my phone with a waterproof mitten and read the news.
When I next glance up, I behold a craggily black back end, four exceedingly black legs and a black underside.
How the hell has she managed to get so filthy in fifteen minutes? Yes, I know: dogs don’t find that so difficult.
I peer down the lane where she is standing up to her knees in mud waggling a sludge covered snake. Yes, of course, her mouth, whiskers and beard are claggy with mud too.
Silly me. I’d forgotten that neighbour M. had moved heavy machinery on a trailer some weeks ago. Two of the vehicle’s wheels had sunk into the turf and left deep ruts across one of Hairy One’s reserve stamping grounds at that end of the lane.
Oh well, she might as well enjoy herself. She can’t get any filthier – unless she rolls in the pool, and Isis never rolls.
After a wet hour, I leave Isis to play while I squelch back to the house and fill all the plastic receptacles I can find with warm water. Having placed them in the entry by the back door, I add a jug of watered down shampoo. Then off I go to collect the disgusting animal.
The last time I attempted to wash her down outside she kicked over the water before I could even get started. Bearing this in mind, and eying her warily, I grasp her collar with one hand and with the other swog her with bottle after bottle, bowl after bowl of water. Even the end of her tail and swatches of the hair on her sides are gritty and spiky with mud.
To my surprise, she stands still and lets me wash her.
We return to the kitchen and she is wrapped in a large towel. That’s better. Now she knows the ordeal is over. She leans against me and and begins to wag her tail.
What an admirable animal !
She gets lots of pats and a nice piece of cheddar.
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