Chester’s corner revisited



A post should appear every Sunday


Sunday February 19th 2023


Yes, it is clear that Isis is very partial to freshly fried mince. In fact, she’d rather like to be served the mince unaccompanied by kibble, thank you. This she demonstrates by eating the mince and leaving most of the kibble.

Harder of heart now, and less inclined to pamper the frustrating animal, I keep the rejected kibble for her next meal, adding, if necessary, another handful to make up the eighty grams which she is given twice a day, and topping the repast with a tablespoon of mince.

Are you getting bored of the details of Hairy One’s feeding regime? Most certainly I am. But I am also concerned, because, as I remind myself, the Burns kibble is supposed to be her main source of protein.

I discover that if I give her a little prod and sign that I expect her to eat what she’s left, she returns to the dish and continues to eat. Admittedly, sometimes three or four prods are required.

Reluctantly, I must confess that she has also returned to barking now and then as she prepares to take the next mouthful. Abandoning my principle of Thou Shalt Not Bark, Yap Or Growl When Dining, I ignore the sound effects and just concentrate on her eating.

Up until this year, Isis would carry on like a deranged dog if I stayed in the kitchen while she ate. Now she only begins her meal if I am just the other side of the door, encouraging her to eat. I know I am being ridiculous, and I strongly suspect that Isis is being manipulative.

On Tuesday, Bev tells me that when Nancy spurns her food, they pop it into the microwave for a few seconds, and then she usually eats it.

Hm. Warming her food in the microwave would certainly be easier than frying a little pat of mince each day. The house would smell more pleasant too.

Twice I simply put her Burns in for a few seconds, then add whatever I hope will entice her to clear her dish. The first and second time I do this, she eats enthusiastically: obviously, either she enjoys the novelty of toasty Burns, or she’s silently amused at the lengths to which silly Human will go in order to pander to Dog’s demands.

Fortunately, this week Human at last wakes up to how foolish it is to worry about how hungry little dog must be having left all her kibble the evening before, and half of it this morning. I know that she is bright and healthy, that her teeth are in good shape, that she is drinking neither too little nor too much water, and that she relishes hunting down and eating her bedtime treats.

Common sense, with which, admittedly, I have never been over endowed, should tell me that if she were hungry, she would eat.

To be fair to her, I have known for some time that she is not that keen on the variety of kibble which she has had for the past year; I’ve cancelled the repeat online order and am trying to think of a substitute.

Last week I suddenly remember Chester’s Corner in Kings Norton. Years ago, I’d been there for the first time with a friend who has a sense of direction, and even then, we’d struggled to find the store. The next time I set out to go there, I become helplessly lost, and give up.

Two things still stand out in my mind about Chester’s Corner: the very large and varied stock they carry, and how friendly and helpful the proprietor is.

And now, of course, I have Waze on my phone to guide me there.

The shop is off Vardon Road. On Tuesday, I reach one end of Vardon Road, only to find that today the road is closed for resurfacing.


I ask one of the guys whether it’s possible to go on a detour to reach the other end of the road. I’m assured that it is, and am given the directions – three times, actually, because I struggle to remember instructions.

Surprisingly, I eventually arrive at the other end of Vardon Road.

Unfortunately, there’s another gang resurfacing this end of the road. The guys suggest that I make my way to the other end of the road. When I explain that the other end is closed for resurfacing too, and the guys there told me to come to this end, they look very surprised and mutter, “Well, don’t know why they said that. We weren’t told they were up there.”

We apologise to one another, and the two cars and a van which by now have stopped behind me, having also followed the other gang’s instructions, execute three point turns. I follow.

All very British.

By now, of course, I have no idea of the route I need to take back to Kings Norton Green. Thank goodness for phone sat. navs!

I smile to myself all the way home as I fantasise about the two gangs with their huge steam rollers meeting up in the middle of the road and arguing about who should do the final patch.

Anyway, on Thursday, after her walk, Isis and I set off again, and this time we get to Chester’s Corner.

The array of animal food is even larger than I thought, and Lee, the proprietor, even more friendly and helpful.

He listens to my tale of woe, we weigh Isis, and Lee feels carefully along her ribs, back and chest. He remembers Isis because of her amazing ears, and Isis must recognise his scent, as she is perfectly happy for him to touch her.

Lee, who is a very kind and diplomatic person, straightens up, and looks at me apologetically.

“Now, I don’t want to say that she is overweight,” he says gently, “but ……..”




And here I can’t help laughing. “Don’t worry”, I tell him, “I just told her, as we walked across to the shop, ‘He’ll tell you you’re a fat girl, Isis!’ ”

“I think she’s leaving her food because she’s not hungry,” he says.


Now this makes sense. Well, what next then?

All will be revealed.


Isis came from Aeza cat and dog rescue in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or go to




This entry was posted in a very naughty dog, Chester's Corner, deaf/blind dog, food rage, Isis at home, Isis is no angel, Isis says "No"., Nancy, oh dear, park people, patience is a virtue., something's not right, strange behaviour, these dogs!, what on earth's the matter?, who'd be a human? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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