the harness thing

Isis playing the bucking bronco is quite amusing. It’s the teeth that take the edge off the humour.


These equine displays are the Hairy One’s response to the harness thing. Twice a day we play ‘harness on’. This involves me gently attempting to place the harness over Isis’s head and fasten the two clips on either side of her shoulders.

It also involves Isis dancing around the hallway nipping my fingers whenever she can reach them.

In a very middle class way I explain that this hurts. Clearly, she misinterprets my explanation as an invitation to more vigorous nipping. I abandon explanations in favour of gasps and squeals. (These arise from pure pain, not an attempt at dramatic effect.)

“No”. I admonish firmly.

‘Harness off’ is no less entertaining. But I have an advantage. After ‘harness off’ comes breakfast or tea. Isis is in a hurry – she is a foodie. I am not in a hurry. Every time she attempts a nibble or a nip, I stop and withdraw. This, I decide, I will continue to do until we stand quietly for our unharnessing.

But the climax of her performance comes when I (gently, honestly) pull her harness off over her head. She bucks and jumps and bounces, tossing the harness aside in a final burst of triumph before trotting cheerily into the kitchen to inspect her empty bowl.

In her defence I must point out that there is no malice in her attacks. Nor is she in the least bit nervous. Her tail remains up. She is obviously enjoying herself.




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