New posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Well, there are naughty dogs and very naughty dogs. I’ll leave you to decide into which category Isis falls. Although, when I check her out as she sleeps peacefully, pink spotty nose nestled in the fluffy rug, I could be forgiven for believing that yesterday is a figment of my imagination.
My dog has very particular rules about her private affairs. One is ‘never defecate closer than sixty metres to a dog bin.’
As I may have mentioned before, there are activities much more fun than leaping and darting around trees and shrubs with a dog lead in one hand and a full dog bag in the other. It is not, therefore, unreasonable to attempt to access the nearest bin.
But Pink Nose doesn’t wish to walk in the direction of the bin. Yes. You’ve guessed. She prefers the opposite direction. Gentle tug. Stand-off. Two more gentle tugs. Her little feet spread out into stars. This, of course, gives her a better hold. Firm tug. Another firm tug. This time her response is a spin rage. Every time I urge her forward, she has another spin.
Moving very slowly and carefully, we eventually manage to circle round and, finally, reach a dog bin. We then proceed towards the car park where Gra. whistles his special whistle until Isis finds him. She receives two treats, which, of course, she quickly devours.
“Come on, piglet”, I say pleasantly and begin to move off.
“Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – AFF, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – AFF!”, she responds, less pleasantly, and begins another spin rage.
But there is more to come. We walk onto the big field where she usually enjoys following trails. She has a little trot, then stops. Each time I attempt to urge her forward, she growls and spins.
“Well, Isis”, I say calmly, “where do you want to go?”
She lies down, legs straight out in front of her. After about five minutes she stands up again. I suggest we move. She lies down again. And so on.
After a while, a dog owner acquaintance comes over with her little dog Betsy. She knows Isis and has been watching our antics. Like me, she has had several rescue dogs. Betsy’s family went to the Lifford Tip to dump their rubbish and left her there too.
We talk for twenty minutes or so. She explains that Betsy has developed a jumping up habit and would benefit by being ignored during our conversation. I tell her what’s going on with Isis and me.
We discuss how difficult it is to judge when to be firm with a rescue dog.
She leaves and I address Isis again.
“Shall we go home now?”, I ask, signalling ‘forward’ by gently tugging on the lead.
Now and again she sets off on a brief foray. But each time I attempt to direct her she lies down.
Eventually, I pick her up, ignoring the threatening growls, and carry her to the car park. She walks to the car. She gets in. On the short drive home, I have to intervene in several spin attacks on her feet.
She continues to be volatile throughout the evening. Soon after 12.00 a.m., anxious that she will bite her feet during the night, I take her upstairs. After a couple of short lived rages she sleeps peacefully until get up time.
Today, after the eclipse, of course, we go to the park. The sun is very bright and she is allowed to choose the route. She does very well, sniffing among the shrubs then on the field which is in full sun, but has no shadows.
When we get home, we do our Mekuti harness and lead training. She gets the idea and does very well. So far today she is calm and chirpy.
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