Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday May 15th 2019
While our visitor stays with us, the weather is very changeable.
This leads to an interesting but sometimes difficult week for Isis.
On Wednesday we’re in Kings Heath Park for seven thirty.
No, Human’s bed springs didn’t emerge spontaneously through the mattress: Wednesday is art group day, and Human needs to be there by nine thirty.
There’s a steady, heavy drizzle; consequently, the lower bowling green is deserted.
Yes, Isis has the whole area to herself. She can hardly believe it. Not the scent of a single dog.
She’s in doggie heaven.
She dashes across the grass, criss-crossing rapturously from side to side, zooming from top to bottom.
Wildly, wildly, abandoned animal.
Although I love to see her running so freely, she’s so fast I can’t catch a clear image of her!
So here’s a fuzzy one.
The next day we’re in Highbury when there’s a prolonged downpour.
Oh bliss! Oh joy!
Over and over again, mouth wide open, she stands transfixed, then shoots off in glorious, twirling loops.
Passers-by who know her love to see her dancing in the rain. One man told me that the experience brings tears to his eyes, and others say that they find it uplifting to watch her.
When, on dry days, someone remarks how happy she looks, it’s not unusual for someone else to say, “You should see her when it’s raining.”
The following day, though, things are very different. We go to Highbury, but now she seeks the safety of the little track which divides the two adjacent meadows close to the car park. Even here, she’s jumpy, stopping much more frequently than usual to make sure I’m still there.
Once she’s ensconced in her safe space, she plays, but without her usual enthusiasm, and she is uncharacteristically keen to return to the car.
In the early evening, the sun appears to have retreated.
Isis is a little anxious when we set off, and moves on only with considerable encouragement from me.
I can’t understand what’s the matter with her. There’s no sun, so why the anxiety?
Poor Isis doesn’t enjoy her walk at all.
As we walk back towards the house, we meet L, who lives a few doors down. She notices that Isis is struggling and I tell her how uncomfortable Hairy One has been on her road walk.
L, whose eyes are extremely light sensitive, tells me, “It’s not sunny, but the light is very strong. I’d not be able to cope without these dark glasses.
Chastened, I lead the way into the house, and give Isis her tea.
But the damage has been done. She barks and refuses to finish her meal.
I think she is upset by the light coming through the kitchen blind.
On and off all evening, she growls and snaps at her tail. None of my attempts to console her have any effect at all.
I examine her all over, looking for anything which could be causing her discomfort. I find nothing.
It can’t be her anal glands because they were sorted only a few weeks ago.
Her tail sports several long, dangly skeins of hair –
could this be what’s upsetting her? Should I trim her tail?
She’s grumpy at dog’s bedtime, growling over her treats, and growling when we’re going through her settling down routine.
When I go upstairs to bed, irritable snappy, growly, barky outbreaks assail me from below. After about forty-five minutes, I return downstairs and lie with her on the day bed.
Immediately, she’s quiet. After about thirty minutes, she’s sleeping soundly and I creep away.
I wonder what she’ll be like in the morning.
Our good morning greetings are as enthusiastic as usual.
She’s her normal self again.
Come on, Human, nowadays when she’s in the park, we can avoid the nastiest bits for the short distance it takes to exit the car park. When she’s off lead, she can make her own choices.
I’ve learned my lesson. I need to accept that if Isis is reluctant to walk, there’s always a reason.
Yes, she was hesitant when we walked down to the old bowling green this morning, but she was excited by scents, and when she arrived, she was able to choose where to play.
On a road walk, she has little choice.
Sorry Isis. I’ll never push you like that again.
*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