Yesterday builders K and M were working outside the house. Today they put up a stair rail and replace part of the banister.
No problems with K and M. Very nice guys. The problem is Isis.
There’s no point in trying to log the rages today. They run into dozens. Even though Isis has been introduced to the two men, she becomes very wound up when we return from our morning walk.
The front door has to be left open so I put her in the back room. I go into the kitchen.
She does a good impression of tearing the door down. This is accompanied by an outburst of yapping and barking.
I rapidly return to the back room and try to calm her. But by now she is hysterical.
The hammer drill is being used on the masonry. There is also wood drilling, sawing, banging and hoovering. Growling ferociously, Isis spins faster and faster and grabs viciously at her feet. In order to pre-empt serious damage, I hold her. For ninety minutes she struggles, yaps, growls and snaps at herself. Eventually, as the men are clearing away their stuff, she falls asleep on my lap. I can let go of her.
As they leave I notice that despite my efforts her right back foot – always the favoured target – is bleeding. I put aloe vera on it and am rewarded with a short, low growl.
Exhausted, she takes herself upstairs and is soon fast asleep on the bed.
There is no question that stress is the trigger for the rages. From very early on I have been aware that she becomes very stressed around food and eating. She seems afraid that she will not receive food or that it will be taken from her. Another tricky scenario is having her collar, lead or harness put on.
None of her behaviour is surprising for a dog who was found with ropes round her neck attached to a five metre chain. And, of course, being unable to see would have put her at a huge disadvantage if she had to compete for food.
Although partially deaf and apparently oblivious to voices, she hears some sounds. But she seems not to know the direction from which the sounds are coming. Perhaps this contributes to her fear.
It is very sad to see her so distressed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.com