an apology

Thursday November 9th 2017 I am very sorry that the post is late. After completing the post last night I lost internet connection and it has only just occurred to me that I can publish it via my phone. Some of us are slow to catch on!

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the great escape



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday November 8th 2017


Isis is sleeping. She is well exercised, calm and relaxed.

I am not sleeping. I, too, am well exercised, but I am not calm and relaxed.

This morning the sun is shining very brightly so, sadly, there’s no hope of Isis walking to the park with the Pet Angels.

This afternoon I decide that we will venture instead to the lane behind the house. It’s very cold so I wriggle painfully into my warm coat.

When I look for the key to the lane gate, it’s not in its usual place. Then I remember that I decided to keep it somewhere where it wouldn’t get lost. I must have put it on my key ring. Yes, that one must be it.

Isis helpfully leaps about in the porch so that it is impossible to put on her harness. Eventually, after three attempts and three withdrawals of human from the site of the fray, Isis stands still and is duly harnessed. In order to protect my shoulders and arms, her lead is fixed to the strong elastic walking belt around my waist.

We totter along the pavement and arrive at the lane. Isis is signed to sit while I attempt to open the gates.

****! The key on the ring is not the one to the gate.

Protesting vigorously, Isis is hauled back to the house. She digs her little toes into the cracks of the pavement, throws herself around and attacks her back feet. Like an ungainly hoola-hooper, I twist and turn and stumble. I hiss very rude words into her angry little face.

Eventually we shuffle our way back inside our own gate and I dash into the house to look for the key.

It’s disappeared. There’s no chance of finding it among the chaotic piles, so I phone my long suffering next door neighbours, who never lose their keys or lock themselves out, and ask to borrow their key.

For a second time Isis and I lurch off along the pavement. Again Isis sits while I tackle the padlock. I remove her lead, and as soon as I tap the ‘forward’ sign under her chin, she trots off merrily along the lane.

Not a good start but I begin to relax as I watch the happy little dog trotting confidently along the lane. When she reaches the far end, she dances at her usual fast tempo close to her favourite garage door. This, I surmise, is where the black and white kitty who claims the lane as her territory lives.

I am very warm in my winter jacket and feel glad to be out as I watch my joyful little dog.

Time passes quickly and soon Isis turns round and begins to sniff and trot back along the lane. I follow behind her. Just as we pass the back of our own house, she pops, as she always does, into a recess where one of the garages is set back from its neighbours.

But when I reach the recess, Isis isn’t there.

I stare in disbelief. The tinkling of her bell is loud and clear. It seems to be coming from over the fence.

It can’t be. There’s no way she could have got over the fence. Or under it. Or round it. There is a gap of about a foot wide between this garage and the next but its full of stones and old sticks and a coil of barbed wire. She couldn’t possibly have disappeared down there.

Perhaps the tinkling is coming from the beginning of the drive where it turns at an angle of forty-five degrees then runs down to the entrance gate.

I hobble down to look. There’s only an expanse of green, not a sign of anything white.

I retrace my footsteps and the tinkling gets louder. It’s definitely coming from over the fence of the next door but one neighbour’s garden.

Standing on tiptoe, I manage to glimpse a flurry of white cloud serenading the flower border.


This is great. Just what I needed.

But how the hell did she get in there?

Once more I examine the gap beside the two garages. I lean forward and peer in. I look closely at the narrow coil of barbed wire. There, caught on one of the barbs is a thin strand of white hair.

Leaving the merry tinkling behind me, I exit the lane, closing and locking the gate behind me, and make my way to the neighbours who are unwittingly hosting a lawnful of Isis.

Needless to say, there is no reply when they ring the bell.

They’re not there.

I return to the house of my next door neighbour. No, she confirms, they’re not there. They’re on holiday, but, thank goodness, she has their key as she needs access to their side of her hedge which is to be cut tomorrow.

Out she comes into the cold. After a struggle with the key, we walk out into the garden.

You’ve guessed. There’s no sign of Isis. I expect that she’s chosen this minute to return to the lane. But no. Just then I catch a bit of white fluffy tail frisking behind a fir tree.

The little horror isn’t particularly pleased to see me but she doesn’t protest as her lead is put on and we walk through the house to the front door.

I thank my neighbour and apologise profusely for the trouble she’s been put to.


The lane is the only place I can manage to take Isis at present. Guess I’ll have to get help to block up any possible – and impossible – escape routes.

We return home and the hairy little *** trots jauntily down the hall.

I look at her happy little face.

I kiss her head.

What can you do?


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 or


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dogs, cats and fireworks



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday November 5th 2017


Hairy One’s response to this year’s barrages of noisy fireworks gets me reminiscing about bonfire nights past.

When her owner dies, my first dog, border collie Feather, is turned out of the house onto the busy  streets of Handsworth. Young, and in her first season, she is chased around the streets and across the roads day and night by ardent would be lovers. Terrified, she is loose for about a week before Ray (Holly Trees Kennels and Rescue Centre) eventually manages to catch her.

Not surprisingly, Feather has a phobia about headlights and torches. On bonfire night she  is beside herself. She paces around the house, panting and heaving. Nothing will calm her, and we worry that she would have a heart attack.

Rush, Feather’s successor, is also a border collie. Her previous owner was taken to court for cruelty to his dogs, and, unsurprisingly, she is petrified of virtually everything. Faced with November 5th, she behaves almost identically to Feather.

Little Ellie is cherished as a puppy and grows into a very confident alpha female. On her first bonfire night, her owner models absolute calm. The puppy training book predicts that when puppy hears the first bang, it will look at its person to see how it should respond.


Sure enough, puppy looks up at human. Human yawns, stretches and calmly turns over the next page of her book. Little Ellie watches closely, yawns too, then goes back to sleep.

Strangely, for no apparent reason, when she is four years old, Ellie suddenly becomes afraid of fireworks. At the first hint of a bang, she trembles so violently that her bed rocks.

By this time she is living with me. Fortunately, she finds her own solution. She dives over to the futon and packs herself in tightly behind me. After about twenty minutes, the shudders begin to subside and she sleeps.

A little cat called Mini is so distraught when the fireworks come that she hides away in all kinds of strange places. Sometimes it takes hours to find the poor little creature. Once she hides inside the t.v. cabinet. On another occasion, having searched for hours, we suddenly spot a little black tail hanging from the inside of the top of a rolled up carpet. Since the  carpet roll is vertical, it appears that the poor little cat has spent the night upside down.

It’s seven p.m. on November 4th 2017, and Isis hasn’t been out for a pee since she returned from an energetic hour bouncing around in the lane at the back of our house. That was three o’clock, so I lead her to the back door.

This is her third firework season. Previously, she has shown no sign of noticing the bangs, so I am surprised in the late afternoon to see her beautiful ears twitching. She doesn’t appear to be frightened, just surprised and a little apprehensive. Obviously, some of the sounds are within her very limited hearing range.

But when I take her into the garden her demeanour changes. She stiffens. She is clearly scared. She doesn’t like what she smells, and two or three times she pounces on something ‘suspicious’. I do my best to persuade her, but there’s no way she’s peeing in this  dangerous place. When I let go of her collar, she shoots through the kitchen door and disappears into the house.

O.K so that’s her sorted. This evening, I let her out before the fireworks begin and she’s fine. She snoozes happily through the evening, oblivious to all the bangs.

There’s Daisy cat, our lodger, to think about too, of course, and her requirements are very different.

Years ago when she was very young, she lived here with me for a few months before joining Polymath in Wales.

When kitty’s first bonfire night comes round, I am so busy settling poor Ellie that I forget Daisy. Suddenly, at about seven o’clock, when the fireworks are going full throttle, I suddenly realise that Daisy is still outside.

Oh my god! I’ve never moved faster. Tearing open the kitchen door, I shoot into the garden  to rescue the poor, terrified little cat. What a dreadful thing to do. How could I?

I peer around, but all I can see or hear are showers of fireworks.

“Daisy! Daisy!” I shriek frantically.

I am answered by a faint mew.

Then, as my eyes become accustomed to the dark, I see a shape on the roof of my neighbour’s outhouse. Suddenly, a shower of bright fireworks erupts close by, lighting up the shape. I see that the shape has a little round head. The head is swivelling, and two turquoise eyes are wide with fascination.

Daisy is watching the fireworks.

She is not in the slightest bit grateful when I grab her and haul her in.

Now I have a routine. Once I have taken Isis into the garden, I hurry upstairs to make sure that the bedroom light is off and the blinds wide open so that Daisy, who is seated expectantly on my pillow, facing the window, has a perfect view of the fireworks.

It takes all sorts.


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 or

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the battle continues



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday November 1st 2017


One way and another, it’s not been the best of days.

Only Daisy Cat is calm, relaxed and nice to know.







Windows 10 – curse its very inception – switches off my Live Mail account with which I was perfectly happy, and replaces it with a horrible, cluttered mess, part of the Windows 10 suite. Needless to say, all the intuitive functions which I can use in my sleep have vanished.


After hours of incandescent rage, I am not soothed when I discover that Isis, in her playtime enthusiasm, has bitten through the cable of my new phone charger.

I can’t be angry with her. I shouldn’t have left it on top of an unstable pile on the coffee table. Anything on the floor, of course, belongs to a dog.

The new pack of organic beef liver sticks falls into the same category. They are a present for Gilbert and George. I leave them by the front door to remind me to give them to R., and forget to pick them up when I go up for a shower.

As I return downstairs, frustrated screeches rend the air. These are the familiar screeches of a podengo who has dropped her treat.

Yes, there is Isis, lying by her den. She has nibbled a small hole in the front of the treat packet and is drawing out the sticks and eating them one by one. She has devoured more than half of the packet but the sticks are not easy to get through the small hole and her patience has worn thin.

Naturally, she is furious when her prize is snatched away.

Naughty Isis has frequent cause for fury as we continue retraining her out of her crazy meal time routines.

Over the weekend, she is her naughty, regressed self. But now this evokes an automatic thirty minute food withdrawal penalty.

Monday morning comes. I put on a gardening glove, give Isis the ‘eat’ touch signal and retreat.

But there’s a wonderful silence. An angelic dog eats her meal so quietly I wonder if she’s using a spoon.

The same happens at dog’s tea time. Pleasant, relaxed, measured munchings. No expletives after we’ve finished, we just quietly leave our dining area.

What a good girl.

At last.

Unfortunately, I oversleep on Tuesday  morning. R. the Pet Angel is on her way to collect Hairy One, and I ignore a small breakfast bark from the kitchen.

I know, I know, ‘give an inch and she’ll take an ell’. Consistency is all. I know. I know.

Inevitably, tea-time does not pass peacefully. In fact, Hairy One’s first mouthful is celebrated with a noisy barrage of barks.

“This is so B-O-R-I-N-G, Isis,” I admonish her loudly as I snatch away her food dish and shut it in the front room.

Thirty minutes later her manners have improved considerably.

This morning she begins well but then loses her composure. The thirty minute rule is applied only after the shrieks of protest stop.

This evening she has less than a handful of food left when she lets out a small, sharp woof. She is not pleased when the thirty minute rule is applied but eventually finishes off her meal soundlessly.

Never again, I vow, will I let unacceptable behaviour pass.


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 or

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pay back time

Yikes it’s Sunday October 29th and I’ve just discovered that this post hasn’t been published. Don’t know how even I managed that.

⊗ζ!*⊕* (any very coarse words you can imagine).


Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday October 25th 2017


Yes, it’s pay back time for me. Today it’s difficult to identify a bit of me which doesn’t twang, tear, twinge, or ache. All day I’ve been creeping around the house ahhhhing and owwwwing with every movement.

I can’t believe how three gentle little outings at the weekend can do this to a usually hale and active person.

“You never learn”, admonishes Polymath from her hospital bed, “You have to do things very gradually.”

It’s pay back time for Isis too.

As we know, for months after she came to live with me, she transmogrified at mealtimes from a dog into a snarling, raging, monster as she tried to gobble down her food before it was stolen by a hoard of imaginary predators.

Often, once she had cleaned her dish, she would whirl like a snarly dervish and bite viciously at her tail, sometimes making it bleed.

Her behaviour was understandable for a little tied up blind/deaf  dog who, I am sure was at the mercy of other animals and must have been at the bottom of the heap when it came to feeding.

Eventually, over many, many months, I was able to train her to relax and eat like a ‘normal’ dog.

What a relief.

There’s a ‘but’ coming, though. When she stays at Holly Trees kennels, she is, of course, aware that there are other creatures in close proximity, and at meal times she reverts to her former defensive behaviour.

A, T and W tell me that when they first heard the bloodcurdling racket coming from Hairy One’s run, they rushed to see what on earth was going on. Now they just remark, “Oh, it’s only Isis”, and carry on with whatever they are doing.

Generally, she only stays at the kennels for about a week and it takes just a day or two to remind her that we are not in the Serengeti or at the kennels now.

This time, she spends three weeks at the kennels practising food defence and now I am struggling to retrain her. The routine is two barks and you’re out. Her dish is snatched away and stashed in the front room to the accompaniment of ferocious growling, snarling and barking. Once she is quiet, Human then counts up to thirty – or fifty, depending on the stage of the training – before returning the dish.

The idea is that she then quietly finishes her meal.

This time, of course, Human has not been agile enough to rush into the kitchen and snatch the dish, so Isis has been allowed to get away with a few subdued woofs and even one or two sharp ones.

Predictably, the sound effects become louder and fiercer as time passes. She even resumes  her old habit of leaping up the wall, presumably to fend of the little vultures and other cheeky birds which live in the area she came from.

This week I decide that enough is enough, and painful though it is, begin the long haul of retraining. At most meal times I have to remove the dish twice as the naughty little creature challenges me by barking again as soon as her food is returned.

Today I can stand her behaviour no longer. I give her her tea and don a gardening glove. Almost immediately she utters two loud, defiant barks.

That’s it. Whoosh, her meal is removed and shut in the front room.

This time, I retreat to the back room and sit down, trying to ignore the ensuing cacophony from the kitchen, then the scrape, scrape, scrape at the front room door.

After about fifteen minutes, she joins me in the back room, looking sorry for herself.






It is now thirty minutes since I removed her dish. In the past, I’ve only ever kept it from her for a few minutes.

I give it back to her.

She finishes it so quietly that I can’t even hear her chobbling.

And there is certainly no tail chasing: after eating, she leaves the kitchen silently on soft fluffy little white feet.


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 or

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a foot in the park!



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday October 222nd 2017


Big adventures this weekend.

Daisy has run out of medication and, although I know my neighbour would take me to pick it up, I think it’s time I ventured out myself. The RSPCA had no spaces for new registrations but Whitecross vets at the bottom of my road have kindly accepted Daisy as a temporary client. They are also willing to undertake Hairy One’s monthly anal gland emptyings until I am able to drive again. I am surprised and impressed that they are happy to do this. I don’t think every vet would be so flexible.

The mini trek should be do-able because there’s a bus stop four houses up from mine, the bus runs frequently, and it stops very close to the vet’s.

I am extremely careful and all goes well.

Spurred on by this achievement, I decide to try taking Isis to the little lane which runs behind our row of houses and gives access to garages. There’s no way I can hold Hairy One’s lead with two dislocated arms, of course, but I thread her lead through the wide elastic belt I use to attach her to her extending lead, and off I creep.

She is very excited – this is the first time we’ve been out together for over two months. Fortunately she walks the short distance quite steadily.

The lane is hardly ever used so it’s grassy and clean. Once through the gates, I release Isis. Off she goes, full of the joys.

She leaps and twirls and dances her way along the shorter side of the L-shaped track, and then continues round the corner.

Generally, even Isis stops now and then for a couple of seconds, or pauses in mid-air enabling me to take a crisp image. But not today.

She even wriggles while she’s leaping.






She doesn’t stop until she reaches the other end of the lane. I think she has smelled something unusually interesting.





The photo shows about a quarter of the longest arm of the lane. The wind is very cold and I’m tired. I decide that once we’ve done thirty minutes, I’ll walk up to the end and encourage her to puther her way down again. She can take as long as she likes but we’ll be moving.

She seems to happy with the idea and obediently jiggles her way back down in front of me. When we reach the corner, I’ll herd her subtly around it and towards the gate.

But the best laid plans  ………… When we reach the corner, she dances her way around me and returns to the end of the lane again for a lengthy practice of her dance steps.


Back I trudge. Again Hairy One is happy to dance before me.

When we reach the corner, she disappears with a whisk of her tail back to the far end again.


I needn’t have been concerned about her getting a full hour. Five times I fail to stop her to  turn her towards home. On the sixth she stands still enough for long enough for me to clip on her lead. We stay on our lead as we walk to the gate. There’s a limit, you know.

Today friend J. takes us in her car to Kings Heath Park. We meet Gr. and stop for a short chat. I feel human again.

We make our way very carefully alongside the current bowling green to the bench which sits just inside the Colour Garden. Here I am able to let off Isis.

She is ecstatic, pelting around the edge of the largest shrubbery, snatching at the air. Most of her time is spent on two legs. She lies down for about three minutes to collect herself, but other than this it’s go, go, go.

Later, we both settle on the futon. The cold wind has chilled me, and even under a fleece I’m still shivering. Then Isis does an unheard of thing. She stretches full length along my back. As always, she’s delightfully warm.

We sleep like this for almost three hours. No hysterical snarling and raging when she feels something touching her in her sleep. Not a twitch or a growl. Aw.

I wonder if I’ll still be able to walk tomorrow.


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 or

Posted in dear little Isis, I'm off my lead!, relationship building, running running, walking in the park, walking my deaf/blind dog | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

the pet angels



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday October 18th 2017


R and S, The Pet Angels, offer Isis a delightfully long walk to the park every weekday. And generally off she goes, happy tail floating just in sight until the pack turns the corner. It’s compulsory, of course, to have a long, intense sniff of our recycling bin, then the neighbours’ bin as we pass. There’s bound to be a fresh pee or two to check out.

As long as the sun behaves appropriately, Isis relishes her walks. Each morning, my first conscious action is to check the weather. If it’s cloudy, damp, threatening rain – wonderful! If the sun is streaming relentlessly onto the front of the house, or blinking like a lighthouse as the clouds puther by, there’s no chance.

On Monday I’m uncertain. It’s very strange outside, quite dark and heavy with a strong breeze. The sun is there but it’s a small blood red and orange disc. I text the Pet Angels. They say the light is very soft and it’s worth a try.

Sure enough they’re right, and off goes Isis, tail afloat. Being dogwise people they have sussed out her weird little ways, and decide that while Gilbert and George have wild, looping runs on the old bowling green, supervised by S, she can lead R off towards shrubberies and round the pond.

She has a brilliant walk. She sniffs under dozens of bushes, trots happily round the pond three times, popping over the low palings to follow little mammal trails, and then back again onto the path. When they reach the big field, without any warning, she takes off for a good gallop, compelling R to race behind her. Rude animal.

Back home, she has a brief nap – about twenty minutes – before she is up again, high as a kite, snatching at her toys, leaping and twirling. This goes on for about two and a half hours. I don’t know if it’s the strange weather or the dash across the field which inspired her most, but she’s certainly had a great day.

Today it’s dull and cloudy again. No hint of sun.

Obviously, another lovely walk, and, as we know ……………………………..




‘A tired dog is a good dog.’





Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal f

Posted in Kings Heath Park, relationship building, running running, walking in the park, we don't like bright sun | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Isis has a tumble



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday October 15th 2017


It’s stupid Human’s fault of course. It usually is.







At dog’s tea time Isis enjoys a tasty bowl of Burns, enhanced by a sardine.


But Human omits to give Hairy One her fresh bowl of water. That’s the first mistake.

Then she pops upstairs and forgets to pull the improvised gate across the stairs.

Before she knows it Isis is on the landing, carefully sniffing the floor. She must have smelled the cat food which has just been put out for Daisy.

But no, she’s not showed any interest in the cat food before. Of course. The poor deprived animal is searching for the water bowl which was always kept on the landing.

Panic. There is no way I can carry Isis downstairs because my arms aren’t working. Before she realises what I’m about to do, I hook a finger into her collar and twitch her onto the stairs. She is terrified and begins to stumbles downwards. To avoid being pulled down after her, I hastily unhook my finger.

The poor little dog scrambles, twists and bounces, then rolls over and over until stopped by the half drawn stair gate.

I watch in horror.

I’m even more horrified when poor Isis, obviously terrified and confused begins to scramble back upstairs again.

I meet her half way up and block her with my legs. But she has lost her head – who can blame her – and is determined to get past me.

I sit down on the stairs and encircle her with my legs. Then, wrapping my limp arms around her in the hope that this will be reassuring, I backside shuffle, millimetre by millimetre, closer and closer to the bottom of the stairs. Little Isis, bless her, doesn’t growl or snap. She leans against me and waits.

When we reach the last step, I free her and give her a little nudge with my knee. She moves forward, but to add insult to injury, the gate slides and lands on top of her. Fortunately, it’s a lightweight structure and she squirms from beneath it unharmed.

Fortunately again, neither of us is hurt. She bears no grudges and happily accepts cuddles and treats.

And she’s clearly delighted with her lovely fresh water, poor innocent dog.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.


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 or

Posted in Isis at home, Isis in danger | Tagged , | 4 Comments

three goodbyes and two visits



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday October 11th 2017


Very sad news last week. D., who moved out of Birmingham a couple of years ago tells me that her lovely labradoodle Billy has just died.

Billy, renowned for his obsession with rolling in deep, muddy puddles, and known to his closest friends as  Billybogs, was the sweetest, most cheerful dog you could meet. My previous dog, Ellie enjoyed many happy hours and several sleep-overs at Billy’s house.

She liked to take over his very large bed, but growled over the edge of it at poor Billy when he tried to settle in hers!

Much to D.’s amusement, when they were let out into the garden, Billy was boss. He strode ahead around his large domain, demonstrating where it was legitimate to pee, while Ellie trotted respectfully behind him, peeing on exactly the same stem or leaf.

Gr. summed up Billy beautifully. “He was such a happy dog.”

More sad news comes this week. Lovely Ralph, a sleek, black, working cocker, and sweet Gemma have also died suddenly.

When I first met Ralph in Kings Heath Park, he was little bigger than my hand. He was an incredibly energetic dog who was still shooting like an arrow after his beloved kong even when I last saw him a few weeks ago.

Gemma was rescued from a huge roundabout in the north of Birmingham. Only a few months old and terrified, she was racing round and round in and out of the traffic. A motorist managed to stop. Engine running, she opened her passenger door, called out and, amazingly, the pup jumped into the car.

She was taken to Ray Deddicott’s Holly Trees Animal Rescue Trust.

Now Gemma was about the size of a small labrador. And J. was looking for a westie sized dog. She heard Gemma’s story and took her home.

Three lovely dogs with devoted owners.

How sad.



This week Isis and I have visitors. First J. arrives. Already suffering from significant health problems, she injured her back about six weeks ago and has been unable to take energetic springer spaniel Lily to the park for six weeks.

Last week she bought a disability scooter, and today they’d been to the park.

J. hopes that Lily might sit on the foot board of the scooter in a ladylike fashion, but so far, Lily has declined, preferring to trot along at J.’s side.






It was lovely to see them.

Next, Je., Miki and Wilda arrive.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that Wilda was the ring bearer at Je. and L.’s wedding.

Well, now she’s a little baby sitter. Well, not quite, but she and baby Miki are well bonded. Apparently she used to run away when Miki cried. Now she looks at him with concern, gives him a sniff and waits impatiently for help to arrive.






It’s over six weeks since I walked in the park, and I’ve missed my park mates enormously. It was lovely to see them again and catch up on park goings on.

Hairy One, of course, has suffered no such deprivation. Since she returned from kennels nearly three weeks ago, she has been taken to the park most days by R. and S.

Although she’s very cautious and approaches human visitors gingerly, she always comes to join us in the front room.

Dog visitors are a different matter altogether. Both Lily and Wilda are keen to say hello, but Isis slinks off into her back room where she stays until they’ve left.

When Billy visited, she used to shoot upstairs and glue herself to the bed.

So I guess there’s some progress.


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 or

Posted in Isis at home, Kings Heath Park, park dogs, strange behaviour | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

up to date



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Sunday October 8th 2017


Isis has been playing happily and very muddily in the garden this afternoon. Around four o’clock, R. texts to ask if said hairy might fancy a walk to Kings Heath Park.

Lucky Isis. She’s a bit surprised, but after popping back and forth from the drive to the pavement for a while, just to tease R., off she goes. I can see her fluffy white whitish tail bobbing along the top of the garden walls.


Final Episode of the sorry tale: the rescue


You left me stuck in Wales with a very badly sprained left foot and two extremely compromised upper limbs.

Enough of this misery. I’ll précis the rest.

Generous K., Polymath’s niece and my very good friend, says she’ll drive up, stay a few days, visit her hospitalised auntie and then drive me back to Birmingham.

I am profoundly grateful.

By now the foot is so badly swollen that I can hardly bear to rest it on the ground. When we visit the hospital, the ever resourceful K. hijacks a wheelchair and whizzes me down to the ward.

“And I’m only a visitor”, I snigger foolishly each time we pass a nurse.

Back home, the foot is X-rayed. As I thought, no broken bones. But since I can neither walk or use my arms, I am referred to the NHS Rapid Response Team who come into the house twice a day for almost two weeks to supervise showers and bring upstairs food and drink.

I am grateful beyond words that this service is offered to the elderly decrepit who are foolish enough to move very heavy objects around when the whim takes them.

Isis has been back for two weeks now and has adapted well to the new regime, that is Human no longer takes her for walks but lies on her bed or the futon twenty-four seven, groaning loudly when she is forced to move.

I visit the shoulder surgeon who needs more information before he operates, so I have to wait until early November for another scan – MRI this time.

Our dog walking friends have been amazing. R. and S. have been taking Hairy One out to the park every morning – except when the sun is bright and she refuses to go. Embarrassing animal. Bev. does emergency shopping and sets up an online shopping account for me. Je., and R. have told me to let them know if I need anything – and they mean it. M. rings me when she is about to go to Aldi to see if I need anything, Ju., who has damaged her back and been immobilised herself for several weeks has now acquired a scooter and assures me that she will visit as soon as she’s put in enough practice. And Gr. keeps me informed of all the park business.

Isis and I are very, very lucky.

So henceforth I shall refrain from bewailing my fate and concentrate again on Isis.


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 or

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