Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday March 22nd 2020
It’s spring. I know it began some days ago, but now the sky and the sun say it’s for real. There’s a proliferation of buds, and continuous bursts of birdsong. Magpies, jays, robins, wrens and finches: they’re all at it.
And the weather is forecast to be dry until April 2nd.
No rain? We can hardly believe it.
It’s cold, but that’s fine. People smile on their way round Highbury today.
Tails are wagging all over the place. Dogs are bounding. Dogs are racing after balls.
(Don’t know why video presents upside down, but it plays the right way up!)
Sure, there is still plenty of mud to be found, but the mudless stretches are growing. Today it is even possible for a dog to walk the length of the flower meadow and still have clean, pink feet.
What a relief it is to be able to leave Hairy One’s car seat cover and a towel in the car overnight instead of hauling them dripping from the car every time we return home. And what a relief not to have to find somewhere to hang all the soggy Isis gear and my wet clothes.
Soon, hopefully, the hall radiator will be empty of damp gloves and neck warmers. (I only have three dog walking gloves left from a sizeable collection: one is brown, one black and one navy. Two are right handed and one left. With luck, they’ll see the cold weather out.)
Isis, of course, being a dog, does not mind mud, and, as we all know, adores rain. So her misery doesn’t begin until we reach home. Unable to recognise that being washed and dried is a consequence of playing in rain and mud, she is uncertain of what awaits her.
Being left on the lead in the porch while Human peels off her wet socks, signals ablutions, means Dog will be dragged down the hall to the kitchen where a large plastic bowl of warm water awaits her. Then, horror of horrors, she must allow her legs to be immersed in the water, one at a time and washed down with a cloth.
It’s horrible but she daren’t growl or she’ll not get a treat. And heaven forfend that she removes a paw from the bowl.
On the other hand, being relieved of her lead and harness means she is free to hurry down the hall and make herself scarce.
So when we return from our walk, there she stands in the porch, hoping that it’s going to be a lucky, no wash day. Her tail hangs down. She is motionless, like a dog statue. You can’t even see her breathing.
When she feels my fingers fumbling to unclip her harness, her tail begins to wag. The wagging gains momentum and she jerks back her head, wriggling it out of the harness as I lift it over her ears.
Yes! It’s official. No dog cleaning today. The hall door is open and she scurries away. Funny little Isis. I know she’s very hungry and thirsty, but if she’s been apprehensive about being cleaned, she’ll always claim her bed and lies on it for a while before emerging for breakfast.
All being well, Isis, you’ll enjoy at least ten days before you even need to be dried, so gallop on, my dog!
*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