Wednesday October 15th 2014
We walk for two hours and Isis is very good. Following the advice of Hannah (of Pawfect Dogsense) I stop every time Isis’s lead becomes taut and only move on when she stops pulling and the lead sags again. This seemed to have no impact for weeks, but now it seems to be working. She is tentative but willing to walk along the road to the park and back again.
She is excellent in the park, even allowing me to coax her along the Valley of the Shadow of Death (a sloping avenue of trees and shrubs which she has previously refused to enter).
Perhaps it came from frustration when she was tied up all day in Portugal and actually bitten by flies she couldn’t see. But now the thought-fly snapping is obsessive. Left to her own devices she twirls and snaps continuously. Sometimes she does it when we are walking – usually when I have her lead in one hand and a full dog bag in the other. Tripping backwards and forwards and tangled up with Isis I attempt to remain on my feet and not to tread on hers. Very entertaining from behind I imagine.
After our walk I see her pirouetting on the mud patch down the garden like one possessed. I bring her in.
I am trying to break the twirling habit. I don’t know whether I will succeed. If I do, I expect it will take a very long time.
There are some good signs though. She now stops if I introduce another activity. At first she would return to twirling as soon as I stopped interacting with her but now she often rests or occupies herself.
And in the evening, she relaxes on the futon. She can spring up effortlessly, like a cat. For weeks she would twirl unless I sat in the dark but just last night, for the first time, she relaxed and rested after her evening walk and tea, even thought the light was on.