A post should appear each Sunday!
Sunday Novenber 14th 2021
My narrative, as usual, is in black print. The blue print is my interpretation of her canine thinking.
‘S/he’s a darling’ is a Black Country expression which means the opposite, that is, she or he is being a pain in the neck.
This morning the expression suits Isis down to the ground.
When I let her out into the garden, a quick pee is all we get.
I’m very, very hungry. I want my breakfast.
This means I’ll have to carry two or three full dog bags around if she elects to take a pavement walk.
We set off. It’s a nice, dull day, so I’m not sure whether she’ll decide to walk wherever she wants to go, or choose to be driven.
Her chauffeur is prepared for both. She wears her trainers, and stows her walking boots in the car. Her pocket is full of dog bags. So is the car. The house keys are zipped into an inside pocket. The car key is poised for action between forefinger and thumb.
She walks over to the grass verge on the right. Strange. She never turns right here. She’s never about to walk up this way, is she?
No, she isn’t. She’s engrossed in sniffing the grass. Something needs immediate investigation: it’s urgent.
Ah, she’s completed her task. Perhaps now she’ll walk on. Or approach the car.
No, that’s not her intention. She executes a ninety degree turn, then waits, facing the main road. That’s OK. We sometimes cross the road, walk down to Broad Lane, back up along another road, and home. We complete a rough rectangle, and it takes us about an hour. Usually, she walks very nicely on her lead, except when she catches a whiff of kitty and lurches forward to pursue it.
On this route, though, there’s a certain point, less than a quarter of the way to Broad Lane, where she always stops and turns back towards home. I realise that this is the point where we used to turn back when I came home from my art group at lunch time to check her out and give her another, albeit brief, walk.
Understandably, she is a creature of habit. Once she is realises that no, we’re not retracing our foot/ paw steps, she trots along contentedly. She takes some persuading, and may stop again, but eventually we’re back on piste. I always manage to persuade her to continue.
Sometimes, on our way back, we walk down one of the paths leading from Jasmin Fields. She enjoys this.
Today, she soon stops to attend to her needs. While I am employing the dog bag, the naughty little creature turns back in the direction from which we’ve just come and tugs at the lead. Very helpful at such times. Not.
I turn her round.
What’s the matter with her? I’ve just produced an impressively huge poo. That’s what I agreed to come across the road for.
As we know, Isis can be very stubborn. I guess that’s how she escaped from her chain in Portugal. But today she is exceptionally recalcitrant.
When I stop in my tracks and refuse to move, she always taps me under my chin to tell me to walk on.
Or she keeps tapping as we walk. I comply for a while because bending over to tap me makes her lose her balance. Snigger.
She even blows on my bottom, to make me rush forward, thinking I’m being pursued by a randy dog.
Can you imagine it?
Today I won’t be bullied. Quite honestly, if she doesn’t mind looking like a pervert, why should I care?
I am not, I repeat NOT, walking.
I hiss, “No” into her ear, then, “Come!”
She ignores me and segues into her rodeo act. She bucks, and she twists, and she wriggles. Then she lowers her head.
It’s show down time.
As she does so, she heaves herself backwards, step by step, as though she is competing in a tug of war.
Just as she intends, her harness is dragged over her head, and drops to the pavement between her front legs.
Then she turns towards home.
“Little toad,” I mutter.
You didn’t leave me any choice. I kept trying to tell you. Now do you believe me? I’m not happy. I DON’T WANT TO WALK ANY FURTHER!
Dragging her harness over her head is her end of the line protest. I can’t even remember when she last did it. She’s serious.
O.K. The light looks fine to me, but what do I know?
I replace her harness, and we walk back to the car.
We get in and drive to Jasmin Fields. We’ll walk along the little tracks above the canal.
She leaves the car and allows me to lead her into the field. Then she does something unheard of. Instead of trotting across the field, she turns right and, checking first that I’m following, makes her way happily along the hedgerow, tail aloft, nose ready for action.
Now, I realise, we are walking at a right angle to the route she refused to follow a few minutes ago.
It must have been the light which disturbed her.
Stupid Human. You know there’s always a reason for what animals do.
I let Isis choose the tracks she wants to follow on the way back to the field.
We have a very enjoyable walk.
I don’t bear grudges. I know you can’t help being stupid.
Isis came from Aeza cat and dog rescue in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.dogwatch.co.uk.