Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday October 28th 2019
“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear !”, I coo sympathetically to Isis when she suffers minor setbacks such as prickly bits of pine tangled in her hair, a beechnut case stuck between her pads, or a treat lost in her bedding. Then, of course, I hurry to solve the problem.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. This time I can do nothing to help.
Two oaks, I learn, grew so close together that their trunks melded. I’d always thought that they were one tree. For as long as I can remember, there has been a cave-like hollowed out area in the lower part of the trunk.
Then, last weekend, strong winds tear the trunks apart. On Monday the area around the tree is cordoned off with red and white tape. There are piles of logs, and the tree men are there, removing dead wood.
The tree is much diminished, but, apparently, it is stable and can remain.
Not that Isis has any concerns about tree conservation. But the huge, felled branches have massacred her ‘plantation’, one of her favourite playgrounds.
Only an outer fringe of the tall plants remains. The rest have been smashed by the heavy, crashing branches and boot trampled into the mud.
Poor Isis will be very confused and upset to find her territory has vanished.
I lead her carefully over the grass and guide her round the strewn branches. When I release her, she looks puzzled, uncertain where she is, and steps very cautiously on the unfamiliar surface.
The texture of the churned up grass must feel very different under her feet. There’s a wide open space instead of her familiar jungle. The disturbed earth must be releasing strange new scents.
Bewildering for a dog ………………….
Then she takes a good, deep sniff.
And another. Snuffle, snuffle.
She perks up. This smells interesting. Hmmmm. Something small and furry has definitely been here.
Soon she’s trotting back and forth, foraging beneath the plants, digging under broken off boughs, retrieving sticks, and lying down in refreshing, shallow pools to gnaw at her leisure.
The wind catches her hairy ears as her meandering turns into a trot.
Suddenly, she gallops to the right. She whirls round and and gallops to the left. She spins again and canters away from me. She stops in her tracks, turns abruptly and pounds back towards me.
Utter excitement! Celebrations!
Whoohoo! Dog magic.
Again and again she leaps into the air.
No way. She loves it. We stay for two hours.
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