Something quite remarkable happens today. A vegetarian, or, to be accurate, a pescatarian, I shudder when handling raw meat. But I steel myself and buy some liver for Isis.
This evening I cook it for her with some trepidation, expecting that when she smells it she will lose her recent training and revert to barking and spinning, especially as it will take me a quite a bit longer to prepare her meal.
But she doesn’t revert. She is very, very interested in the smell but not a bark, not even a muffled woof. No snarly spinning. Silently, she walks around the kitchen looking expectant.
I can’t believe it.
I kneel on the kitchen floor as usual and hold the dish out to her. Amazingly, she doesn’t dive bomb the dish and shovel its entire contents down her throat in one go. Nor does she utter blood-curdling warnings to would-be food snatchers. She lifts her head, looks behind her, then up at the ceiling. She carefully picks out a small piece of liver and puts it on the floor. I guess that she thinks it’s too warm.
Then, for the first time since I’ve known her, she begins to eat like a normal dog. Not slowly, but as though she is enjoying the food.
I can’t take my eyes off her. This is Isis – she who eats so rapidly while simultaneously woofing into her dish that she only just avoids choking herself.
And, miraculously, she doesn’t even spin with irritation when she’s finished everything.
It is true that since I have been holding her dish instead of allowing her to smash it against the wall, her table manners have improved. But this is astonishing. I am delighted.
What a good girl, Isis.
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