Izzy came to us the day after her mother disappeared, on the 1st November.  Dean answered a knock on the door to find the neighbour’s girlfriend holding a terrified little black handful of fur.  He told me to go down and speak to her, but I already knew that we would take her.

Shortly after we moved to the house we rented for nine months before moving here, we were visited by the neighbour’s pack of dogs.  They came into the garden when we ate, looking for food and attention.  Chi-Chi was the charmer.  Still a pup herself she had already had her first litter.  She would grab anything she could and toss it in the air to entertain herself, with somersaults and all manner of doggie gymnastics.  There was a hierarchy in the pack and the other dogs claimed any food going, with great ferocity.  Chi-Chi was having to use all her intelligence and agility just to survive.  The dog spent most of their time locked up in a cage.  When they got out they went on the rampage and killed other neighbour’s chickens, so they got locked up in the cage again.  It was a most vicious cycle.

When we first moved to Spain we knew we’d have to get another dog as a playmate for Riley.  We hadn’t expected her to show up so soon, but they got on well enough.  Chi-Chi was small enough to be no real threat to Riley and feisty enough to be interesting.  She’d had to learn to take care of herself with the older bigger dogs she was locked up with for most of the day and night.

We talked to the neighbour about adopting Chi-Chi.  Initially he said no, then changed his mind. She was a wild thing, affectionate and playful, but she wouldn’t be cuddled.  Although we wanted to keep her warm and safe, she preferred to be out roaming.  She was a sprit dog, with six toes on her back left foot. That very night, she disappeared.  We let her out because she barked and scratched at the door and wouldn’t settle and that was the last time we saw her.  It was the night of Samhain.

Chi-Chi, Izzy's mother.

Chi-Chi, Izzy’s mother.

When Zdenka showed up in tears with Chi-Chi’s only daughter (she had six pups) and told us that she knew she would have a better life with us, we couldn’t refuse.  She sat on my lap traumatised for at least two hours.  We named her Isadora, meaning gift of Isis, but we call her Izzy.

Izzy at six months.

Izzy at six months.

Izzy is a wild thing and a bit of a tramp, just like her mother.  We had to get her spayed because she would jump the fence and run off with the neighbour’s dogs once we moved here.  We couldn’t keep her in the rented house either, she was the Houdini of dogs, but she would always chase cars and that was a huge worry as there was a busy road very close.  Here, no one can get any speed up the track, but she’ll still chase them.  She can’t bear to be shut in anywhere and is an excellent telepathic receiver.  I only have to think about picking up the flea spray and she’s gone.  She is also a stealth dog, here one minute and gone the next – just like her mother.  She in turn mothers Tulku, teaching him with great tenderness and patience.  They even look like mother and son, although he will be much bigger than her before long.

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