Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday March 10th 2019
It’s Friday. As soon as she’s crossed the little road from the car park and run onto the meadow, I let Isis off her lead. Immediately, she makes her decision and heads towards the fallen tree – the one which has the burry plants growing under it in the summer.
She knows exactly where the tree is. It’s one of her favourite places.
She’s thrilled. I admit she’s not exactly saying it, but she could be:
‘And then my heart heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.’
But enough of this sentimental anthropomorphising. Before I can stop her she’s danced on a particularly appealing clump and felled three of them.
Today she chooses a decidedly less salubrious spot.
It happens like this.
When I walk over to the poop bin, instead of trotting off to her dancing area at the edge of the woody strip, Isis ambles along by my side, then crosses the main path onto the field opposite.
She runs about happily in the middle of the field before gravitating to the thick hedge. Here she seems to be playing tag with herself and using the hedge as a safe touchdown.
A crow screeches as it flies overhead and I turn for a few seconds to watch it.
And I mean a few seconds.
When I turn back, there’s no sign of Isis.
This is ridiculous. I know that she can’t have trotted the length of the hedge in the time I’ve taken my eyes off her; even so, I dash along the hedge and turn the corner. Not a dog in sight. Then I catch a blur of white through the hedge.
She’s on Highbury’s old bowling green. Enclosed on three sides by the thick hedge, it’s a perfectly safe area. That’s O.K. then, isn’t it?
No it damned well isn’t. In one corner there’s a deep and stagnant drainage ditch.
She’s been in it once before. That was in the summer, and there was only smelly mud in it. But it’ll be brim full after all the heavy rain we’ve had. I must get there before she rediscovers it.
I dash along to the end of the hedge.
There she is, killing a stick.
Phew! Only one muddy leg. But she’s much too close to the ditch.
She gets closer. Now she’s skirting the edge.
Four muddy legs.
I rush towards her, hoping to grab her before she decides to jump
It’s too late.
I’ll not go into the details of the bedraggled sight of her, and I’ll certainly not dwell on the disgusting stench. Suffice it to say that not only her legs but her underbelly too are now covered in slimy mud.
And after two dips in the stream, plenty of dancing in the the strong, drying wind, and a journey home on her absorbent blanket, she still looks like this.
*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