Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Oh dear. The rage spins have continued. And they have been spectacularly bad.
My ploys for pr-empting the post meal rages have ceased to work.
Yesterday, after she had eaten I walked away. Only to return to blood on the floor. Yes, she had bitten her right back paw.
Today, after breakfast, she flies into a spin so quickly that by the time I’ve grabbed her she has made the paw bleed again. I don’t spin. But I do rage, stupidly shouting at her that she is being a very stupid dog. Again, ignoring her alternating very loud snarls and growls, I tuck her head tightly under my arm, clean the injured paw, massage cream into it.
She has worked herself into such a state that it takes about forty minutes for her breathing to return to normal. I sit beside her and stroke her each time she begins to growl. Eventually she relaxes and I sneak off into the other room to do some work for Jo.
After a few minutes I hear muffled paw steps above me. She has retired to the bedroom. I dash upstairs to draw the blinds. She sleeps peacefully for about an hour before barking to be carried back down.
Later, in the park, the rain patters down and we both perform the usual acrobatics as The Hairy One leaps in the air, jigs around on her back legs and snap, snap snaps at the rain flies. I let her do as much twirling as she wants because twirling is said to be a stress reliever. For the dog, that is, not the owner who must pass the long lead from hand to hand above her head and looks for all the world like an apprentice cowgirl practising her lassooing techniques.
A meal is waiting for Isis at home. Taking a very deep breath I wait until she has cleared the dish then, getting her to sit, slowly count to ten before giving her one of the three pieces of food I have kept back from her meal. Then, I count again, feed her the second, count again and feed her the third. Calmly, slowly.
Miraculously, she waits, then wanders out into the hall. Over the next forty minutes, each time she emits a growl, I say, “No”. I stand close to her and speak loudly – but I don’t shout.
She retires to the futon. Because the light seems to irritate her when she is tired, I draw the blinds. Before I begin to use the computer, I move the lamp close to me and switch it on. She stirs and growls. I stroke her before drawing the lamp even closer so that the chest of drawers is between Isis and the light. She settles to sleep.
Suddenly she stirs, growling. This is a ‘nightmare’ growl. “Isis”, I say very loudly. She stops and goes back to sleep.
Does anyone know of anything one can mix with a dog’s meal to make her feel more full without making her fat? It would be worth a try.
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