Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday April 21st 2019
This is not just a pretty, spotty nose: it’s a highly refined precision instrument, honed to twitch into action at a split second’s notice.
At the moment, its owner is relegated to a very small portion of the garden.
In a last, desperate attempt to revive the bottom third of the lawn, ground into the dust by pounding paws, I fenced it off temporarily.
Sounds mean, but, be assured, earlier today, someone very hairy spent over two hours playing off-lead in Highbury.
I pop into her area to take a photo. As soon as I reach the fence, I feel something cool and damp push against my calf.
O.K. It’s a very small area. Easy for her to pick up the scent.
In the park, it must be more challenging.
I know dogs have an amazing sense of smell, that some can locate an item which has been sunk many metres deep on the bed of a lake, but I still find my dog amazing
In Highbury, I stretch out on the grass, keeping an eye on Isis who is playing several hundred yards away.
She looks very happy and relaxed. No one, dog or human, approaches her, and, anyway, the wood is close by. She can pop in there for cover if she smells a threat.
Nothing untoward is happening. She doesn’t need Human.
After two hours, I stand, then bend to pick up her lead. When I look up, she is already making her way towards me.
She can’t see me. She can’t hear me. I’ve not stamped on the ground.
How can she detect my movement?
She walks with me across the meadow, and then picks up pace and goes ahead towards the car. The first few times she does this, I dash to grab her.
I soon learn that this is unnecessary. She stops on the grass about ten metres from the car park. She waits for me to catch her up. When I put her harness over her head, she wags her tail and we continue on our way.
Lately, in Kings Heath Park, when, I guess, she decides for some reason that it’s time to go home, she has taken to setting off on her own.
She walks with slow deliberation from the Colour Garden towards the pond, and wends her way carefully through the trees and shrubs without walking into them. When she reaches the pond, she hesitates over whether to take a right or left turn. She decides to go right, moves along the side of the pond and onto the main path outside the White House. She keeps to the left where there are plantings, and, further on, a fence to follow, and makes her way to the car park.
I follow her very closely, of course, and harness her before we reach it.
What a nose!
*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