Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday October 28th 2018
It’s Saturday, and Isis and I set off merrily in our new car for Highbuy Park.
It’s wet and very cold so Isis hops happily from the car and strides off with me towards the pine avenue.
I decide to offer her a change of scene and we go via the Italian Garden, known locally as the ‘Secret Garden’.
It’s about two years since we were here and Isis finds it very exciting.
I’m pleased to see that some of the wire netting appears to have been replaced. Nice and secure then.
After about thirty minutes, Isis finds a gap which is invisible to me and quickly wriggles through it into the pine avenue.
I shoot off to the entrance and gallop round the other side of the hedge. Fortunately, Isis, obviously pleased with herself, is still celebrating her victory by twirling next to the hedge.
Today she’s less interested in the pines, so I take her off to the little track which ends close to the old rose garden and landscaped area where she can run free.
Just as I take off her lead, I meet Ju. I chat to him – for a minute at the most – before I follow her.
At least, this is my intention. But when I turn round, I am confronted by a worryingly dogless landscape.
She must have moved very quickly along the path which we always follow.
I whizz along the path, but to my dismay there is no Isis dancing round the big tree surrounded by holly bushes. There is no Isis running up and down along the edge of the undergrowth. And I can’t hear her bell.
I glance up towards the road. It’s a long way off. She’ll not have had time to get that far.
She’s more likely to have turned off to the right along the path which leads to the smelly dragonfly pond. I turn round and run towards the pond.
I dash back and take the second path to the right. This leads to the other side of the pond.
No Isis. No sound of a bell.
What if she has run off towards the main road. I turn round again. But what if she falls into the pond?
I stop. I can’t go in both directions. There’s no-one around to ask for help. I’m beginning to panic.
Just then my phone rings. I am about to tell the caller that I’ve lost Isis and can’t speak at the moment when a strange voice asks, “Have you lost your dog?”
“Oh yes,” I pant.
“Well don’t worry,” the voice continues, kind and reassuring, “I’ve got her on a lead and I’ll keep her with me.”
We discover that we are on opposite sides of the pond, and arrange to meet up by the wall.
Soon after I emerge from the old rose garden, a lady and her two dogs appear from around the corner. The lady has my Isis on a lead. Poor Hairy One looks bewildered, and her tail has vanished into her undercarriage.
She soon perks up when she smells me.
The lovely lady is B. She explains that she had been walking not far from the pond when she saw Isis stumbling along at the pond’s edge. Realising that something wasn’t quite right, B. stopped Isis and examined her ID disc. Reading ‘deaf and blind please help’, she rang me.
One of her dogs, Buddy, the brindled one, is a rescue. He came from Gran Canaria where he was on the killing list. She saw him on an internet dog rescue site and adopted him.
I am very, very grateful to B. for rescuing Isis. She could so easily have slipped into the pond, and once in, she’d most likely have been disorientated. She could so easily have drowned, and I would never have been able to forgive myself.
Isis and I are so lucky.
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