minutiae, or a day in the life of a dog part 3



A post should appear every Sunday

(Gosh. Spring really does seem to be happening)


Sunday April 10th 2023


Now, where were we? Oh yes, we had, at last, made it to the car ………………….

So, Isis is lying on the back seat, calm and relaxed, front paws tucked neatly beneath her hairy chest, nose in gear, ready to tell her where we might be going.

If it is a bright and/or sunny day, I adjust the sun visors to shield Isis from the glare, execute a neat u-turn, and off we sail up the road. Not a sound comes from the back seat, but two hairy ears are twitching. Isis doesn’t move, even if we bounce over a hump, drop into a pothole, or even stop for petrol.

Somehow she knows it’s not safe for her to stand up or faff around while the car is moving. She’s as still as the proverbial statue, but she’s fully alert. Even when we pull up, she doesn’t stand until I unclip her safety belt. Then, for some reason I’ve so far been unable to fathom, she turns her back on me and faces the closed door opposite, rather than the one which I am holding open, and which she habitually uses to enter and leave.

I have to stretch over to reach her harness and clip on her lead.  When the lead is taut, and I touch her side, she obligingly turns round to face me. She’s now standing on the seat, but she makes no attempt to move forward. She will never try to leave the car until I tap her under her chin. Sometimes I forget, and she stands motionless. I guess we must have established this ‘wait until tapped’ routine more or less as soon as she began travelling in the car. She is a very good learner: even now that she’s older, it’s not difficult to teach her new things.

If we park in a familiar place, she’ll jump out confidently. If we are a little way away from the kerb, or the terrain smells unfamiliar, she’ll put her head out of the door, and stretch her neck down to judge the distance from the seat to the ground. In Yew Tree Lane, the back entrance to Highbury Park, for example, leaves have piled up high against the kerb so that it’s not possible to park less than ten inches from the pavement. I think that she must find it difficult to judge the distance she has to jump, yet if I place a hand either side of her body, she’ll leap out immediately, and she always lands smoothly, with all four feet on the pavement.

She never ceases to amaze me.

What she does once we’re out of the car depends, of course, on where we are. At the Yew Tree Road entrance, a fence runs along from Highbury Hall to the lodge gates. It is lined with hedges, shrubs and trees, and in front of it are straggly clusters of weeds, patches of earth and wandering tree roots. Oh the smells! They’re enough to addle a dog’s brain.

There are so many little trails, so much information to gather, and it’s so important to sniff thoroughly so that a dog can respond appropriately. Often, a dog needs to turn round and return to a scent discovered a few yards back, in order to double check whether it needs further attention.

To pee or not to pee, that is the question. A dog, it seems, must be very choosy about whose scent to mark and whose to merely note.

Decisions, decisions.

Last Friday, Bev and Nancy are just leaving their car when Isis and I draw up. They are soon in the park, waiting for us. It must be about eight minutes before they spot Human stepping into the entrance, and longer before Hairy One’s pink nose appears round the gate post. Even then, she has to sniff very, very slowly, for minutes on end up and down and round the ornate column to which the gate post is attached.

And so it goes on, all round the park. It’s more than two weeks since we have been to Highbury, and boy, don’t we know it. She doesn’t appear to leave a leaf unturned.






Fortunately, Nancy is a very patient dog – unless she’s waiting for a treat. And even Bev,  who likes to stride rather than meander, kindly lets Isis set the pace.


………………………………………………………… 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.











………………………………………………………….  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, a very naughty dog, clever girl, clever Isis, deaf/blind dog, dear little Isis, Highbury Park, Isis at home, Isis is no angel, Isis knows best, learning to trust, lovely leaves, Nancy, oh dear, patience is a virtue., relationship building, scenting, teaching my deaf/blind dog, these dogs!, training, walking in the park, walking my deaf/blind dog, we don't like bright light, we don't like bright sun, who'd be a human? and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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