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The dogs spot the Treatmobile making its way towards them across the field. George, Nancy and Rufus shoot towards it. Conchobhar and Keiko begin to tug urgently at their leads. Isis is oblivious.
“What a shame there’s no camera”, says Dave as he and Charlotte exit the Treatmobile. Aha! But I have one.
Asking Dave to hold onto Hairy One, I step forward to snap the group. But Isis, sensing co-operation is required, gives a serious tug and she and Dave take off in the opposite direction. Isis likes opposite direction. In fact, it’s her favourite.
She is coerced into an ignominious return. And here they all are – well, there’s only bits of George and Keiko – against the backdrop of Avenue Road.
This afternoon I use the whistle with Isis seven times. Twice I sit next to her, blow the whistle and give her a treat. Then I move two or three metres away, sit facing her and blow the whistle. She immediately comes for a treat. We repeat this successfully. Next, leaving her in the kitchen, I sit on the back room floor and whistle. After a few seconds of hesitation, she arrives.
The sixth time she is in the kitchen doorway as I dodge into the front room. I sit round the corner and blow. She arrives at the front door, prances around for a minute or so and then lies down. I continue to blow the whistle and she turns her head back and forth but doesn’t move. I think she does not know the direction from which the sound is coming.
When I return to the kitchen she gets up and comes in for the treat.
I think I’ll stick to straight routes only for her tomorrow and see from over what distance she seems to hear the whistle. To give her maximum motivation, I’ve made a batch of liver treats from Bev’s recipe.
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