Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday February 27th 2019
Isis continues to be very apprehensive when other dogs approach her. If she is out in the open, her usual defence is to walk away, or, if she deems it necessary, trot away.
If she is close to, say, a hedge or a low growing shrub, she will take cover among the greenery, and stand still until the dog has gone away. Once the perceived danger is past, she’ll scramble out and continue her dance – or whatever else she was doing before the canine interruption.
She is not, of course, afraid of dogs she knows well, like Nancy and Rufus, Bertie and George. She does take a few steps back when the former pair greet her by shoving their snouts into her face, but she knows they’ll not do anything nasty to her. They have always been very tolerant of her barging into them, and she happily walks alongside them when off her lead on the woodland walk in Highbury.
Albert and George are usually calm and self-possessed. She knows this pair well too, after months of walking with them when I was unable to get out. She doesn’t even turn a hair when one of them is having his amazing ‘greyhound’ energy spurt and whizzes past within inches of her.
Then there’s little Rosie. A quiet and gentle dog, she never dashes at Isis. Nor does she follow her with intent! She is definitely not an in your face or up your rear end dog.
Rosie is nearly two and belongs to my friend M. He hopes to be able to register her as an emotional support dog.
One day, a few weeks ago, Isis and I are strolling around in Highbury when, in the distance, I spot the fuzzy outline of a puppy. Naturally, I can’t resist a closer encounter.
He is, I learn, three month old rough collie Sherlock.
His companion is elder ‘sister’ Cinnamon. Their human provides dog day care in her own home, so Sherlock isn’t short of canine socialising opportunities.
Better still, as far as I am concerned, she is keen that he has a chance to socialise with people outside of his family circle, so yes, she’d be delighted for me to make a fuss of him.
I ask how Cinnamon is dealing with the puppy addition. Her person tells me she thinks that at first Cinnamon assumed that Sherlock was a day care dog, and was a little doubtful when she realised that he had come to stay.
Being a very tolerant dog, she has accepted him and is teaching him dog etiquette.
Naturally, I explain Hairy One’s strange leaping and dancing, and tell her story. Then we walk over to watch her.
Cinnamon, who is a lovely, friendly, laid back dog, walks over to Hairy One’s space, gives her a gentle sniff and begins to check out the scents. The two dogs are very close, no more than a couple of feet apart most of the time. Sometimes they are within inches of each other.
But, to my surprise, Isis shows no sign of anxiety. She carries on with her routines without even flinching.
I guess she is picking up the gentleness of this sweet dog.
I begin to wonder whether, given time, Isis might be able to have a dog friend.
*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