Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday December 11th 2018
Just realised that I was one day ahead on Sunday. I suspect that inaccurate dates are not infrequent on the blog.
I think Isis particularly enjoys her early morning park walks on Wednesdays (when Human has to rise early to get to her art group). Usually, there are only a few dog walkers around and whole dogless areas. This suits Hairy One perfectly. She’s not a dog lover, sadly.
Often, on these mornings, instead of trotting off determinedly in the direction of the Colour Garden as soon as I unclip her lead, she pauses and makes different choices.
Today, she runs onto the old bowling green, catches an irresistible scent and returns to the bank from which she launched herself. For minutes, her nose is glued to one spot on the grass. Then she veers off a few inches to the right, a few to the left, two or three inches up the bank, then backtracks. As always, I’d love to know who left that scent.
Clearly, Isis knows, and she spends several minutes examining all the available clues before advancing towards the little tracks by the railway line.
Here, she follows someone’s scent up to and along the picket fence which encloses the park’s plant nursery. Next, she has a thorough sniff at the surrounding tree trunks, twigs and plants.
Ah, obviously this is a morning for information gathering.
She sniff-checks my hand before proceeding along the path. This phenomenon has increased noticeably since she got lost by the dragonfly pond in Highbury Park a few weeks ago. Previously, she charged ahead once she knew where she was going. Now she tends to wait until she can smell me or touch me with her nose.
I am delighted that this checking in has become routine, as I am able to give her more and more freedom.
The little track breaks off when it meets the tarmac path, and I stop to speak to a runner whom I have not seen for a while. Isis trots along a few yards to where the track resumes. But instead of pottering off nonchalantly, she keeps returning to the beginning until I make a move.
She walks up to the wire fence which separates the old T.V. Garden from the woodland, then sniffs along it until she finds the small, shallow tunnel which she recently came across beneath the fence.
When she first discovered the tunnel, she was mesmerised and began to dig vigorously, attempting, it appeared, to enlarge it so that she could squirm through. Clearly, it is someone’s private tunnel: someone, who, I suspect, sleeps in the garden during the day and pops out into the park at night.
She doesn’t attempt to dig her way into the Garden like she did last time, so I just stand and watch her as she sniffs and snuffles and snorts.
One could step to the left and carry on sniffing under the fence. But then, this springy thing is fun. When you jump on it it attacks you.
Another option is to climb this big heap of leaves I can smell.
I have lots of goes and lots of leaves stick to me.
No it doesn’t.
I don’t give up easily. I pop back round the other side and try scrambling up to the top.
I try again and again and again.
Then, as soon as Human puts her phone away and zips up her pocket, I do it!
“Time to go home.”
It’s been a good walk, though.
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