Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday May 1st 2019
Fast forward to April 2019.
By now, Isis has visited Polymath at least six or seven times.
Now she knows where we are when we approach the building, and she walks confidently by my side to the entrance.
She’s happy to follow me through the outside door, and takes the security door in her stride, walking through ahead of me as the lock is released.
She stands calmly as I sign in.
She approaches the two flights of stairs with equanimity, following the wall, and climbing steadily.
Now, the transition from the staircase onto the highly polished slidy floor is no longer a problem. Human’s guidance is minimal; Isis sets the pace. She doesn’t attempt to escape into the rooms which we pass.
She recognises the scents in Polymath’s room, and walks in, tail held high.
I collect her fleece and water bowl from the wardrobe, spread the fleece on the floor next to ‘my’ chair, fill the water bowl and place it in the narrow space between two sets of drawers. She knows where to find it, it’s easy to get one’s muzzle into the space to drink, but there’s not enough room for one to walk in and knock the bowl over with one’s hairy feet.
She still twirls until the main lights are switched off, but, as the sun is not fierce, the curtains can remain open.
When I close the door and remove her lead, she sniffs around Polymath’s bed. She has worked out the optimum position for reaching the proffered biscuits. And when the supply stops, it’s easy for one to place one’s hairy front paws on the bed rail, the better to investigate what’s going on.
Now she finds her way to her fleece and lies down on it.
Today, for the first time, she shuts her eyes tightly and actually drops off. True, she is immediately alert if I approach the door or go into the bathroom. But that’s O.K.
She picks up the scent of staff who come regularly to the room, and no longer greets them with twirly yaps.
She even allows the odd human to stroke her.
Now, when Polymath needs privacy, Isis and I go along the once scary corridor to find D. who is an avid dog lover. He grew up with dogs and sorely misses not having them around. When I first introduced her, his eyes filled with tears.
She recognises D.’s scent and will take biscuits from his hand.
Sometimes, we come across a group of residents, and almost without exception, Hairy One immediately becomes a talking point.
Many people, residents, staff and visitors have asked about her, and I have often told her story.
As we leave today, some visitors watch the brave little animal set off carefully down the first flight of stairs. She feels her way to the rails and follows them down.
One lady is very, very taken with her, “You’re very lucky to have her”, she tells me.
I glow with pride.
Thank you Aeza. Thank you Dogwatch U.K.
*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