Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday August 16th 2020
Gentleman Blitz, who some months ago intervened to rescue Isis from an attacking greyhound, and who, to this day, if asked to find Isis always dashes off to locate her, visits us again.
You may recall that on his previous visit ungrateful Isis was very disgruntled to find him in her house, and after he’d left, alarm barked until dawn.
Well, a week passes, and Y and Blitzi visit again. This time, Blitzi is taken straight through into the garden. He is given his own bowl of water, and the back door is closed.
Isis soon smells that he’s around, and barks inhospitable barks every now and then, but at least he is not able to violate her boudoir.
When, after a pleasant evening, our guests leave, Isis charges up the hall, barking fiercely. Poor Blitz makes a desperate dash for the front door.
My inhospitable animal is duly admonished but doesn’t show any sign of repentance.
Later, I join her on the day bed and spend an hour or so making a huge fuss of her. When she is let out into the garden, she sniffs around, barking crossly. But after her bedtime treats, she settles quickly, and all through the night there’s not a bark to be heard.
Phew! That’s good.
Y is off to Dorset very early on the following Tuesday morning, so Blitz is having a sleepover with us. He arrives at 6.30 on Monday evening. After Y has left, he sits next to the front door, giving mournful little cries. Eventually, I put a spare dog bed next to the door, and he curls up in that looking sad.
He is not greatly reassured by Isis who, every now and then, skids up the hall uttering threatening woofs. Fortunately, after an hour or so, she compromises by just sniffing at his bed now and then.
Every time I go upstairs, Blitz shoots up after me. He’s not staying downstairs alone with that nasty, fluffy thing.
When we come down, I sit in the front room so that he doesn’t feel abandoned. Isis joins me, having checked on Blitz on her way in, of course.
Several times he comes into the room, but he is immediately rebutted by Isis.
When he’s at home, our guest sleeps with his human. I wonder if he’d feel more secure upstairs so take the dog bed up for him. He curls in it for a minute or two while I’m moving around, but no, he doesn’t want to be abandoned, and when I go down he follows me.
That night, Isis stays downstairs as usual, and Blitzi settles on my bed. Both dogs are calm and quiet.
Early in the morning, we leave the house and get into the car to go to Highbury, Isis in the back, as usual, and Blitz next to me in the passenger seat. Isis makes no comment when he joins us in the car. I secure him with a restraining strap, and turn on the engine.
When I next glance at him, I’m shocked to see that he’s trembling violently. Although I stroke him and say “Park,” repeatedly, he is very anxious until we arrive.
Obviously something bad has happened to him in a car.
Both dogs are delighted to be in Highbury. Y has assured me that Blitz will stay around me as long as I have his tennis balls and chucker, and he does. We walk off lead (yes, human as well) along the highest woodland path, Isis a little in front of me and Blizt diving off on little forays, but always coming back to us.
Isis doesn’t even flinch when Blitz dashes past her on the narrow paths, even though his speed ruffles her coat. She knows who it is, obviously.
When we emerge from the path and walk down through the beech wood, Isis makes her way over to her favourite bog, while Blitzi chases balls and plays with two lively ladies: a large, newly rescued terrier cross and a sweet infant spaniel.
By the time I finally call him over, Isis has disappeared into her bog. Her whereabouts are being carefully monitored by a concerned family who have not spotted me and are worried that she might be alone.
There are four small children. Their father asks if Blitz is friendly. I tell him that he is extremely friendly and loves to play with children. I add that he was rescued and that his new owner is certain that he lived with young children in his previous home.
The children play with him for almost an hour. Later, as we make our way back to the car park, he spots them in the distance, and rushes over for another game.
The evening passes uneventfully. After eating, both dogs sleep for a while. Later, Blitz comes to join me in the front room, but retires hastily behind the table when Isis arrives and officiously sniffs him out.
When his human comes to collect him, he is quite obviously greatly relieved. As he leaves, Isis, never the hostess with the mostest, serenades him with a volley of barks.
A few days later, when I tell Y how poor Blitzi trembled on the way to the park, she recalls that he did the same for about a year after she’d adopted him.
Apparently, he was found wandering the streets of Stratford-on-Avon. He had no ID, and no-one contacted the police or any of the rescue centres to claim him. She guesses that he was driven to Stratford from an outlying area and abandoned there.
Both Y and I have our birthdays this week, and he comes with Y to visit again. As we reach the garden, loud barks from the house indicate that his scent has been registered by Isis. It’s such a shame, as poor Blitzi is desperate to be her friend.
Then the rain begins in earnest, and the three of us retreat into the house.
I make a drink while the guests settle themselves in the front room. Blitzi follows Y in and stands hesitantly on the rug.
Isis bustles in and chases him away.
This happens several times. Then she snaps at him. I give her a thorough telling off.
A telling off can be challenging when one has a deaf dog, but we have evolved a routine. This involves loud “No!”s close to one of her ears, accompanied by staccato ‘smaps’ on her shoulder. (‘Smaps’ are sharp index finger taps.)
She is not hurt, of course, but she recognises my disapproval and withdraws to her bedroom.
Emboldened by her disappearance, and by the support of his person, Blitzi comes back in and screws himself into a ball against Y’s feet.
Nowadays, Isis, like most dogs, wants to be where I am. After about thirty minutes, she rejoins us. She sniffs the air to ascertain where Blitz is, then lies down on the rug close to my chair.
Soon, there’s a very brave move from our canine guest. He moves a little way away from his person. He has his eye on Hairy, though.
For a while, both dogs remain alert. Then, when Isis places her head on her paws, Blitz leaves Y and bravely stretches out on the rug.
He’s quite close now, and he’s still watching her.
But it’s been a long day, and a dog can’t stay alert forever.
Could this be a truce, Isis?
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