I don’t want Isis to play in the garden as I’ll have to wash her feet again. (The first wash was a bit of a debacle. But that’s another story.)
The sun is bright when Isis wakes after her morning nap, and she is restless and barky. The kind of barky when she gives a sudden, unexpected, sharp, head penetrating yip just as one’s nervous system is recovering from the previous sudden, unexpected, sharp, head penetrating yip.
Would a peanut butter filled kong comprise a timely intervention?
It’s months since I tried her with the kong. If the food was easy to get out, she ate it all within minutes and if it was more challenging she became very annoyed. Hopefully she has moved on.
I wash the kong before packing it with peanut butter. Isis smells it, lifts up her head and sniffs in eager anticipation. I line her bed with a large towel and give her the treat. She is very excited. Of course. It’s something to eat.
I relax, settle in my rocking chair and pick up my knitting. (This is untrue: I don’t have a rocking chair and I can’t knit. One just gets carried away.)
I don’t relax either as I have a nagging suspicion that it might all end in tears.
Isis’s forceful licks make the kong roll. It’s gone. Another thieving hound has had it. Isis flies into a rage. Yipping and growling she attacks her back feet. I return the kong. More violent licks. The kong rolls another few inches. Isis again flies into a rage. And once more her poor little feet are attacked. I return the kong. Lick, lick. It becomes entangled in the towel. Isis is beside herself. Back to the feet.
I take the kong away. Isis searches sadly among the folds of the towel.
She has managed to get out two thirds of the peanut butter. After about twenty minutes I scoop fingerfuls from the kong. Very, very gently Isis licks it from my finger.
When she is frustrated, upset or in pain invariably she attacks herself. When there is food involved her toleration threshold is not just low, it’s non-existent.
I guess that she will need months or even years of calm and regular eating before this behaviour dies down. It may never be eliminated, of course.
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 email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.com