Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday June 26th 2019
It’s Monday. Wishing to reduce driving on the gravel to the minimum, I now park in the first space I find. Even a few months ago this wasn’t possible as Isis resisted walking more than a few feet to the meadow. Now she is more confident, much calmer, we don’t have to park so close to the grass.
It’s a few weeks now since we visited Hairy One’s favourite fallen tree. Once she’s fulfilled her obligations, and I’ve dropped them off in the dog bin, she sets her hairy face in the direction of the tree, and jogs through the long grass, following exciting scents along the way.
But nothing has prepared her for the delights to come.
Tail waving with pleasure, she approaches an apparently impenetrable wall.
Here, undergrowth and climbing plants have knitted themselves into the leafy structure of trees.
She pauses for a few anticipatory seconds – oh, the wonder of it all – and plunges in. I can just make out a fragment of fluffy white tail (a third of the way down from the top of the image, and roughly in the centre). And then she vanishes.
I make my way with difficulty round the trees to see if she’s emerged at the other end. She has. She’s standing by the entrance of a previous den.
She’s looking thoughtful.
I think she’s impressed.
She plays, out of sight, for almost two hours. It’s a very humid evening, and I sit on the tree trunk relaxing. No need to worry about Isis. She’ll not leave the area, and I can hear where she is from the the clinkle-clinkle of her raptor bell. When it’s silent for more than a few seconds, I seek her out.
Every now and then, a familiar dog joyfully tracks her down, and disappears from sight among the plants. Then he or she romps gleefully away to join its human, having, I assume, delivered a greeting. Isis doesn’t run away or come to find me, so I guess she’s unperturbed. That’s excellent.
Eventually, I hear an approaching bell, then a great deal of rustling, and the vista of green is invaded by bits of white.
The next time I look down, much to my surprise, Isis has settled below me.
I think even she is tired.
*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