The New Year has been pretty adventurous. Having a well settled but lively dog can be fun. Tilly brings a lot of pleasure into our lives. However, she has a mind of her own and has had two escapologist adventures. She has a relatively lightweight harness that she wears during the day. It clips onto her lead when out walking and into the car seat belt when driving. She has suddenly discovered that when her lead is taut, she can slip the harness and escape. She created chaos when Jeanie and I were doing minor errands in the village. I had charge of the dog while waiting for Jeanie to finish what she was doing. I took Tilly to sit at the outside tables of ‘La Mesa’, the small cafe near the village square. Suddenly she was gone. I had the lead tight to stop her tangling herself around the tables and chairs. Suddenly there was an empty harness and she was off, up the road, over the square and onto the Calle Mayor, technically the main road but never very busy. Not only had she escaped from the harness but also at the same time - beyond reach, beyond the ability to do anything about it - she had left a doggy deposit in the middle of the pavement outside the tobacconist’s shop. It is no fun at the age of 82 trying to run uphill to catch a dog while worrying about what to do about the dog mess glaring at me from the pavement. The dog was caught. Fortunately Jeanie turned up soon afterwards and while I was holding the dog in solitary confinement, Jeanie removed the dog mess before anyone stepped in it.
You would think that a lesson had been learned. Not a bit of it. Yesterday when Jeanie was out at the ladies fellowship meeting, it was my delegated duty to take the dog for a walk. We walked in relatively orderly fashion to the hotel. Not a long walk but one with a well defined destination. Tilly has been to the hotel several times and has met all the people running the place. It was a lovely afternoon and time for a drink. As food is served in the main room where the bar is, Tilly and I would have to stay outside, on the veranda overlooking the Vega Baja. I hooked Tilly’s lead over the top of the fence and went inside to order a drink. Pleasantries were being exchanged with Richard at the bar when screams from outside were heard.
‘The dog’s escaped. She’s on the road.’
Hastily abandoning my drink, and leaving all my loose change on the bar, I scurried outside to see a brown flash pounding its way up the footpath towards home. Pursued by a woman and her daughter who had been sitting on the veranda enjoying the sun, then me, then by Richard’s girl friend who had been sitting at the bar, then by Richard who had abandoned the bar and taken the hotel mini bus to try to get ahead of Tilly. It was rather like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, with Tilly as the piper and the rest of us as the rats. There was no way that Tilly was going to come back, despite desperate entreaties. We got as far as the urbanisation car park. No sign of Tilly. Turning the corner ahead of us, she had found some escape route. The next problem was that the top end of the urbanisation where the car park is is gated. This prevents all and sundry taking a short cut through our properties and deters undesirables and summer holiday drunks coming back from the bars and restaurants. I had no keys. Coming out with Tilly for a walk, there had been no sign of the house keys which have the post box key, the swimming pool key and the car park gate key on the same ring for convenience and safe keeping. Or, in this case, for inconvenience. Having taken Tilly for an early morning walk, Jeanie hadn’t bothered to put the keys back where they are kept and walking to the hotel I wasn’t going to need them. Until Tilly escaped. And I now had no way of getting into the urbanisation to see if she had run home. Aware of the commotion in the car park, a couple sunbathing on their rooftop solarium called down to me to see what was the matter. Having explained, the husband kindly came down and allowed me through. Arriving at home, half expecting and desperately hoping that the dog was on the front patio, no sign. Convinced that we had lost the little rescue dog and that it would need to be rescued by someone again, called for her, not really expecting a response. Pause. silence. Then from around the hedge on our drive, the escapologist appeared, eagerly wagging her tail and looking pleased with herself.
She was shut up inside the house and I went back to the hotel where my drink and loose change were still on the bar.
Priority - new collar or harness that can’t be slipped.
Two disappointing discoveries this morning. I took a quite expensive, rather smart pair of trousers out of the wardrobe when getting dressed. I had an early morning appointment with the nurse. The trousers have clearly shrunk because they are about four inches too small. Unless I have put on weight recently. OK. I have put on weight. Insulin injections have improved my appetite and that is showing around the stomach. So I wore a rather more voluminous pair of trousers for my visit to the nurse. Blood tests again. She said that it might hurt but I felt nothing. Back home, having gone to the surgery fasting, as instructed, prepared for my insulin injection and breakfast by checking blood sugar readings. High. Rather surprised how high - 178, when these days it is more normally between 60 and 100. Chinese meal last night? Wine with the meal? Brandy at the hotel watching football? Four Roses chocolates before bed? Possibly a combination of them all. Despite all my physical activity chasing the dog. Need to watch that.