Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday October 18th 2020
A couple of weeks ago, a newly recovered Isis has a whale of a time on her walks. Every day it either rains steadily or at least drizzles, and Isis, of course, is as happy as the proverbial sandboy.
Now , too, while we walk I am able to leave the Elizabethan collar in the car, and she rarely pays any malign attention to her rump or her legs.
My little canine meteorologist always knows it’s raining before we prepare to leave the house. On Monday she can’t wait to get through the door. Down the path she goes in leaps and bounds, tasting the rain. Once on the pavement, she jogs impatiently on the spot while I fumble with the latch.
I take a step towards the car. Isis doesn’t. She obviously has no intention of getting into a car. She tugs to the left and off we skitter at a spanking pace along the pavement.
It’s weeks since we’ve walked this route, and she is assailed by the exciting scents which lurk between the inner edge of the pavement and the bases of walls and fences. So on we go, walking briskly, then stopping dead for urgent smell investigations.
What a joyful, joyful dog
We cross Vicarage Road. Soon after we enter Kings Heath Park, I release her and she rushes onto the first field, leaping and twirling.
I only need to stand beneath a series of dripping trees watching her in case she dances too far over to the left towards the railings which divide the park from Avenue Road, or she ventures back towards the gate. I am sure she’ll not do either, and she doesn’t. She’s much to busy enjoying the huge uninhabited space all around her.
She leaps and twirls and dashes back and forth for well over an hour. This, I decide, is enough for any small, soggy hairy who has yet to walk the twenty five minutes’ homeward path. She doesn’t pace herself, and I think that two hours of unremitting action should be enough for any dog.
Besides, I am soaked too, and beginning to shiver. She is perfectly contented to be re-dressed in her harness and to have her lead replaced.
Off we set at a steady pace. At home, I relieve Isis of her waterlogged lead and harness, drop my anorak, shoes and waterproof trousers on the porch floor, shoot down the hall to stay ahead of her so that I can cover the day bed with a large dog towel before she soaks the mattress.
I don’t know why, but she always tries to fling herself onto the bed before I get the towel on it. Then, naturally, she growls indignantly when I struggle to shove it under her.
I wipe the rain from her face and ears, place another towel on top of her and then go upstairs where I strip off the rest of my clothes – yes, all of them – quickly dry myself, throw something else on and return downstairs to dry her.
After this wonderful outing, she insists on walking to Kings Heath Park each time it rains. Which it does relentlessly for the next two or three days.
Then on Friday we meet up with Bev. in Highbury. Isis seems unusually pleased to see Rufus and Nancy. Although she is always happy to walk with them, she generally shies away from their exuberant greetings. Not today though. Today she stands while they greet her. To my surprise, later on she even exchanges a nose to nose encounter with a gentle male beagle. Hmm. That’s progress.
We set off towards the Community Orchard, all three dogs off their leads, Isis trotting along, a little way apart but definitely a member of the group. We walk through the wooded paths, then back to the stream. Here, the others make their way towards the car park, and we turn left back onto the second field.
By now, the rain has set in for the day.
This is Isis heaven.
Thirty minutes go by. Then an hour. Every now and then, dancing dog approaches me. Ah, good. I take her harness from my pocket and unwind her lead. But having established that I’m definitely where she thought I was, she wags briefly and skips back to her playground.
By the time we finally make our way back to the car, we’ve been in Highbury almost three hours.
Out with the dog towels and off with the clothes yet again. Yes, I do have a super-waterproof jacket, but it’s impossible to take it off without runnels of rain descending onto the next layer. This goes for the waterproof trousers too: inevitably they dribble copiously onto my socks and drip into my boots.
Oh but what happy, happy walks. And how lovely to see Isis back to Isis again.
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