Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday November 24th 2019
Isis isn’t a quiet, laid back, cautious dog. She’s a boisterous, high energy, adventurous creature. If you don’t know her, you can tell by her identity tags and her bells.
One day in Highbury Park J. tells me that he can’t hear Hairy One’s bell. I turn up my hearing aid. No, neither can I.
I examine the bell. No wonder we can’t hear it. The hole through which the sound should come is plugged with dried mud and fragments of grass. When I poke it clean with a twig, the bell looks a very strange shape. I squeeze it back to a resemblance of its former self and give it a shake. Not a sound. I shake it more vigorously. Silence.
I peer into its depths. Ah. No clapper.
We surmise that our anything but dainty little dog has mashed her bell against a hard surface, distorted the casing and facilitated the escape of the clapper.
Oh well, it’s only the second bell in about four years, so that’s not bad going. It’s survived better than her ID tags, I note. She’s wearing tag number six at the moment and it’s so bent, scratched and scraped that it’s illegible. Dear me, thank goodness I noticed. Careless human.
Obviously it’s time for the seventh tag.
Surely a dog shouldn’t get through six tags in just over five years, should she? The tags she’s had seemed strong enough when they were new, but perhaps I should look for something more substantial ……………………………………………
I google ‘good quality, long lasting dog ID tag’, and I select a company which introduces itself thus:
‘A year ago we started working with a Spitfire Engineer to design the most robust and suitable way of making a Dog Name Tag from restored equipment and recycled or recyclable materials and doing this so well we could confidently guarantee it for Ten Years.
Now you can buy a Dog Name Tag that’s Guaranteed for Ten Years: Even If You Lose It
The tags are made from brass, continues the advert, are two millimetres thick and deeply engraved.
The advert is dog centred and has a humourous tone. I am convinced.
I order two tags.
When the postman rings the bell and hands me a brown paper parcel tied with real, hairy string
– not a fragment of plastic to be seen – I can’t imagine who on earth has sent it. (When did you last receive a brown paper parcel tied up with string?)
When I open the parcel, I find a tasteful brown envelope on the front of which is my name, while the back of the envelope
is neatly closed with a fat, red seal on which is imprinted a small paw.
Stranger and stranger, as Alice in Wonderland would have said. Intrigued, I open the envelope.
It is only when I discover this image inside
that it finally dawns on me where the parcel has come from. I’d forgotten all about the tags I’d ordered. Now I remember wondering at the time why I was asked for the the breed of my dog. How lovely.
Enclosed too is a small card.
Inside are instructions and a request for a picture of your dog!
And, most exciting of all, there is a little, round, shiny tin with a screw top.
Inside the tin, surrounded by a tiny sheet of waxed paper, are two beautiful brass tags.
Printed on the tiny sheet of paper is a little verse.
I had been feeling quite low and grumpy before the parcel arrived, but opening it is like opening an unexpected birthday present and revealing layers of surprises. It bucks me up no end, as they say!
P.S. The tag looks lovely on Isis, and she will truly test the ten year guarantee!
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