Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday September 13th 2020
Perhaps Isis is right. Seven consecutive posts about seven consecutive dog walks could well become monotonous. And seem contrived. They weren’t contrived. They just happened. One after the other.
The problem for Human is that seven weeks is a long time. Other things keep happening. Things she wants to write about.
Be patient, human. Follow your nose …………………………………
It’s now three days after I dropped the house keys near Jasmine Fields, two days after I fell in the stream in Highbury Park, and one day after Isis eliminated my glasses’ case.
I decide that Hairy One needs an evening walk. She wasn’t her usual happy self in Highbury this morning so we only stayed an hour. It’s a dull evening. She needs more exercise. I think I’ll be able to persuade her to do a road walk.
I should explain that this summer, for the first time, she’s not wanted to play in the garden. She goes out, does what’s required and returns to the house. Maybe it’s because Blitzi marks her garden territory each week when he visits.
I don’t know.
What I do know is that by the evening she has boundless energy and throws her toys around for an hour or so in the house.
Maybe that’s how she likes her day to be. Perhaps interfering humans don’t always know best. I just feel sorry that she’s not outside in the fresh air, sniffing around.
Anyway, I get ready to go.
Isis is playing with her snake. She’s never excited when I wander around getting ready. She knows it takes for ever. She knows it’s only worth getting up when I open the door into the porch.
I’m ready. Isis is still playing with snake. I tap ‘come on’ under her chin. She walks into the hall. She looks quite pleased to be going out.
But not without snake.
I tell her I know what will happen. She’ll drop snake on route and I’ll have to carry him home.
She ignores me. No way does she intend to relinquish her toy.
I manoeuvre her harness around snake. She stands in the porch, wagging happily.
We set off.
Isis doesn’t walk briskly. She doesn’t sniff the interesting messages left by other dogs. She doesn’t follow kitty scents. She dawdles along like a recalcitrant four year old, halting frequently to reposition snake.
We’re not having an invigorating walk, but I nudge her on. I know she’s not upset or frightened. She’s just being stubborn.
Well, to be fair, so am I. Why didn’t I just let her play at home?
Then, after we’ve been plodding along for about twenty minutes, she casts snake aside, jumps up in the air and walks on. She begins to sniff the hedges and fire hydrants.
It’s getting on for eight thirty now. We walk to Kings Heath Park where we’ve not been for weeks – it’s too busy in this time of plague.
It’s almost nine when we cross Vicarage Road. It’ll be dark in an hour. A thin drizzle begins. The park is virtually empty.
Isis is beyond delighted to be in the park. I walk her across the field towards the car park, then set her free.
It’s the first time I’ve released her in this part of the park. I’ve always been afraid that she might make her way towards the road. But we’ve grown very close over the last few months; we know each other much better.
The drizzle is heavy now. I stand under a tree and watch her pounding up and down, snapping at the wetness, slowing down to weave in and out of the trees, gathering speed for another pelt, completely lost in the joy of the moment.
After an hour, the light is fading. I walk over to fetch Isis. She stands still as I replace her harness and lead. Then, lead in one hand and snake in the other, I lead her out of the park.
Soaked but contented, we walk decorously home in the dark.
After all that hassle, Isis.
The following afternoon we go to Kings Heath Park again. No snake this time. No pussy-footing along the pavement. No resistance.
She walks on the spot as I collect her lead and harness from her box in the porch. She can’t wait to squeeze through the front door.
When I open the front gate, she dives through it onto the pavement and sets off at a gallop.
How strange. How unexpected.
Not at all. The rain is pouring down relentlessly.
What a difference a day makes, 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