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I am making tea and coffee for the two very nice guys who are putting up a porch for me. Isis has just come in from the garden. One of the men, J. comes into the hall as Isis emerges from the back room. I explain that she can’t see but but is fine with people being around.
He is filling up a bucket at the sink and I am about to add sugar to the drinks when there’s a loud yell from J. He is jumping around in shock and pain, “The dog’s bitten me,” he gasps.
I can hardly take it in. My stomach lurches. J. was just minding his own business, wasn’t even looking at Isis. She’s bitten him on the inside of the thigh. The bite is very painful. I can see red marks on his skin and insist on it being treated with antiseptic. Although I am very thankful it hasn’t broken the skin, I am horrified that this has happened. She has never done anything like this before. Sadly, I will not be able to introduce her to visitors in the future.
I wonder whether being at home with me over the past few weeks has made her protective. J. wonders whether she could smell his dog. I can’t think that that would affect her as she’s used to the smell of people with dogs. And she’s never shown any aggression towards other dogs. She’s only ever bitten me when she’s been trapped and terrified, I’ve being trying to tend her self-inflicted wounds or remove sticks from her mouth.
I am very upset that she has hurt someone.
Why did she do it?
Polymath thinks it’s entirely explicable from a dog’s point of view. Isis has smelled the two men over two days. She’s been aware that someone’s been hanging around outside her front door doing strange things, but she’s not met them. Suddenly, there’s a stranger in the kitchen using the sink.
When someone she hasn’t met comes into the house, she barks briefly, I ask them to offer her the back of their hand to sniff and then she accepts their presence.
I didn’t do that with these guys.
I am very shocked. How much can she be trusted?
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