Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday March 28th 2018
My friend A. does an excellent job of minding all three of us. She arrives the evening before I have my shoulder operated on and immediately establishes an atmosphere of calm and order. The next morning while I am flapping around angsting about whether I need to take an extra pair of socks, and a pencil in addition to a pen, she concentrates on removing hundreds of Isis hairs from my newly washed navy cords.
Why don’t I wear something else? If you’re a dog lover you’ll not need to ask. Over the last month or so, Isis has gradually transferred her beautiful, dense, fluffy, winter undercoat to my wardrobe. I’ll not overdo the information, but every item of clothing I own is coated in dog hair. Should have adopted a black dog, I muse, or bought white underwear.
I am, of course, accustomed to being sartorially challenged, and am not excessively concerned about looking as though I’ve just rolled in a kennel, but hospitals care about hygiene.
When I return in the late afternoon, all is peaceful. A. has managed to roll up Daisy’s thyroid tablet in just the right amount of cheese to make it stick to one of her Dreamies, and Daisy has eaten it without a problem. Isis has been contented and well behaved.
While I doze, A. takes Isis into the lane to play.
Just as A. was told, Isis trots enthusiastically down to the gate. She picks up her snake and pops into the lane. She plays with her snake, several trailing lengths of ivy and a stick or two. What a good dog. A. is impressed.
Until it is time to come in. ‘Just approach Isis, place your hand firmly on her back, clip on her lead, and direct her to the gate. Then you can release her and she’ll trot up to the back door.’ A. knows precisely what she has to do, and sets off towards Isis, lead in hand.
Isis, too, knows precisely what she has to do. But she doesn’t do it. Instead, she dodges round A. and shoots off down the other end of the lane, turns the corner, trots right down to the road gate, and dances gaily. When A. follows, Isis dodges past her and returns to the corner. She twirls there until A. approaches and then heads off back down the lane again.
Now there follows a good fifteen minutes of fun and games.
Isis, who knows A. is kind and gentle, allows her to approach and then skips off. Over and over again. She is enjoying herself immensely.
As time goes on, A., tired, very cold and longing for a hot cup of tea, becomes less and less enchanted by the hairy prankster’s larks. She finds herself speaking more loudly now, and through gritted teeth.
“Isis, it really is time to come in now”, she intones. She is considerably more genteel than Hairy One’s owner would have been, and Hairy One ignores her.
Eventually, the recreant is recaptured.
Wisely, A. does not release her inside the gate but keeps her on the lead, letting go only when yanked this way and that as Isis, who obviously does not wish to trot nicely up to the front door, escapes and runs back down the garden.
As A. remarks, Isis is behaving just like kids with the new baby-sitter.
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