minutiae, or a day in the life of a dog



A post should appear every Sunday


Sunday March 19th 2023


It’s late when I get downstairs. Isis is deeply asleep as she always is unless I fiddle around in the kitchen long enough for my scent to penetrate her dreams. I sit down very carefully, beside her, but not touching her, as a sudden jolt, or a pat will alarm her. She hasn’t woken yet, so I place my right hand about a centimetre from her nose.

After a few seconds, her tail begins to wag, tap-tapping against the wooden slats which form the back of the day bed. She springs to her feet joyfully, then bounces up and down on the spot. When she pauses long enough for me to put my right arm around her and give her a hug, she lifts her head, then snuffles and rubs her face around my head and shoulders.

She gives a little sneeze, then walks behind me shoving her warm hairiness into my left side. She’s in no hurry this morning, even though her breakfast is late, and she accepts more pats, strokes and hugs before stepping a little to the side for a luxurious stretch and yawn. This morning’s yawn has a delightful little squeak at the end of it.

Now she stands facing the edge of the day bed, waiting for the ‘get down’ signal. Since she’s been sleeping for hours, and may be less well co-ordinated than usual, I place a hand on each of her flanks to guide her in the right direction, and preempt her skidding on the wooden floor.

She follows me into the kitchen, then hangs back until I open the door to the garden and begin to waft it back and forth, sending her the smells of the big outdoors.

Now she trots towards the door, pausing on the threshold, probably wondering if she really has to go out. I confirm, again with a palm on each of her flanks, that, yes, she really does.

Once she has navigated her ramp, she begins to pick up the alluring scents of nocturnal visitors, to follow their trails, and reclaim her territory with a marking pee. I guess that last night’s visitors are mice, rats and early morning birds as, if an errant feline had dared to invade her territory, there would be low barks, sorties down towards the end of the garden, pounces and snuffles round the piles of branches and twigs, and much indignant twirling.

I watch her through the kitchen window, dog bag in hand, but today it’s not needed. After a hasty pee, she heads back to the kitchen door.









She’s hungry now, and wants breakfast to be served immediately.

This need she feels compelled to underline with a short, sharp yap, before taking up her usual pre-breakfast position on the threshold of the back room. From the kitchen I can see a whisp of white hairy ear, then the tip of an impatient nose. If I am not quick enough – and I rarely am – a second, somewhat sharper yap assaults my ears. (I’m a little over sensitive to noises in the morning.)

I weigh out exactly 60 grammes, as instructed by Lee, and pour them into her dish. Now she stands and sniffs the air, but doesn’t come into the kitchen until invited by a pat on her side. Then the dear little soul sits down firmly a short distance from her dish, her head up and her nose pointing towards the ceiling. This always makes me smile.

One little touch beneath her chin and she’s there, head in her dish. The only sound to be heard is a steady, contented munching.

A few feet away, I put my Apricot Wheats in a dish, and make a coffee. This entails several moves from cupboard to counter. A couple of months ago, this would have provoked a riot from breakfasting dog: not now though. Only a lady-like lapping signals that she has finished eating and is refreshing herself with a drink.

She then retreats to the day bed or her dog bed to wait for Human’s move to the front room, before following her and stretching herself on the rug. The walk will come next, but, as always, while she drinks her coffee Human is distracted by a desire to read the news, check her whatsApp messages and wish her correspondents good morning.

Fortunately, Isis is an extremely patient dog. She waits for the floor to vibrate, which will tell her that Human has vacated her chair and is making her way towards the hall. But when Human is feeling particularly unmotivated, she will be sorely tempted to read her Kindle.

Not this morning though: there’s a walk to be taken, and a stop off at Lidl’s for cakes before we visit Jim.

The floor vibrates, and there’s a hall smell.

Oh joy!


To be continued ………………………………………………………


Isis came from Aeza cat and dog rescue in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact kerry@azea.org or go to http://www.dogwatch.co.uk.


This entry was posted in a joyful dog, a very good dog, clever girl, clever Isis, deaf/blind dog, dear little Isis, Isis at home, patience is a virtue., relationship building, scenting, sleeping, sleeping arrangements, twirling and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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