Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday March 20th 2019
How about this then? The unheard-of-never-going-to-happen-no-way-José does happen.
This is how.
Isis is playing with her yellow ring on a string. It’s not a special favourite. I found it a few months ago near the railway line in Kings Heath Park, and later attached the string because Isis, as we know, likes dangly things. As long as they’re not dangling on her.
So there we are in Highbury.
Isis is playing her ‘throw you away, dance on my own, search for you in the grass, find you and repeat’ game.
She has just tossed the ring into orbit and launched her hairy self into a pirouette, when a large, grey lurcher arrives on the scene.
The large lurcher is a sweet natured, calm dog. She has approached and sniffed around close to Isis before, and Isis has not squeezed her tail between her legs or cringed away from her.
Even though my Isis is no longer terrified when a dog approaches her, she usually moves away. If it’s a gentle, laid back animal whom she’s met before, she ambles off and resumes her play a few feet away. If it’s intent on exploring her nether regions, she trots off.
If it’s a boisterous puppy or a sex maniac, her tail whips between her legs and curls tightly against her her underside, and she skitters away.
If a very determined dog follows her, she hides somewhere virtually impenetrable, like a very dense thicket or a bramble patch, and stands motionless until rescued.
On this occasion, true to form, she begins to slink away.
I’m certain the lovely lurcher will not nick Hairy One’s toy, but Hairy One is not convinced. She knows where her dangly-thing-ring is. She can smell it.
And she can smell someone else near the ring: that lurcher.
Then Hairy One does something quite astonishing.
She turns round.
Yes, she does. Really.
She turns round and walks towards Lurcher. Right up to her. Well, only about eighteen inches away. Then she lifts up her head and mimes a snap!
She doesn’t make a sound. She’d not dare bark at another dog. Neither does she make contact. The best description I can think of for this amazing gesture is a silent ‘nyaff’.
As an observer, I have no doubt at all that Isis thinks she is warning off the would be thief. She must feel that she has been successful, as she steps back, then approaches again and repeats the gesture. And again.
When Lurcher has finished her sniffing she trots back to her person.
Triumphantly, Isis picks up the ring
strides off with it to a safe place, a little closer to Human
and settles down to mouth it.
She looks very pleased with herself, and I must admit I’m pleased for her.
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