Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Isis has been eating on her own in the kitchen for almost a week now without her protective plastic cone.
I command her to sit, then I put down her food bowl, leave the room and close the door. The noises which come from the kitchen are still quite hair raising, and she continues to complete each meal with snarly rage spins. But when I return to the kitchen, expecting to find evidence of self harming, there is none. No blood on the floor, not even any clumps of torn out hair. I replace her water bowl. She drinks before emerging perfectly calmly. Phew. Not perfect. A dogs’ restaurant, if there were such a thing, certainly wouldn’t welcome her. But what an improvement.
Abandoning watching t.v. has worked wonders. Now, in the late evening, she sleeps peacefully on the futon. No intermittent self attacking rages. Poor little Isis. Why did it take me so long to realise that the problems were caused not by the screen alone but by the flickering reflections on the ceiling.
Feeding her pieces of Dentistix last thing at night was also causing problems. When the treat was gone, she behaved in the same way as she does when her meal if finished, flying into rage spins. Now I ‘hide’ the four pieces around the back room and leave her to it. Result: silence. She finds the treats and returns to the futon to sleep.
She still has what appear to be nightmares. She wakes abruptly, growling and snarling. Sometimes, if I am close by, a gentle pat will bring her round but at other times she attacks her tail or foot ferociously. Generally, if I intervene, she carries on trying to attack herself. But these nightmares seem to becoming less frequent.
Excepting for mealtimes, rage spins are now rare.
Last night, deprived of watching t.v. and with Isis snoozing happily, I decide to take my book upstairs and have some quality alone time. But I have hardly set foot in the bedroom when I hear quiet scuffles on the stairs and Isis appears.
It had been months since she last came upstairs at night. She settles cosily behind my legs and stretches her chin out to rest it on my calf. She sighs. So do I as I was looking forward to reading and now I can’t because the light distresses her. But it is very sweet of her to join me.
I switch on the radio.
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