Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Isis is very thin. When I check this out with vets they say it’s fine for a dog as highly strung and as active as she is.
It’s certainly not from lack of appetite. She is as voracious as ever and mealtimes are still a very noisy affair. I continue to work on her table manners but progress is slow.
Stupidly, I forget to take her feeding stand to Wales so she throws her bowl up in the air, scattering the contents all over the kitchen floor. She yips continuously as she retrieves them.
And, since I usually omit to pick up her water bowl before she eats, I am obliged to mop the kitchen floor at regular intervals. Sigh.
Although the foot/tail biting behaviour has been much reduced, mealtimes are still a risky area and she routinely has a rage spin as soon as her meal is finished. It’s as though each time she realises that there’s no food left, she thinks, “I knew it. It’s happened again. The food’s all gone. Nraaaaaaaaaaaff!
Observation, as I have often reiterated, suggests that she has had bad experiences around eating, presumably having food snatched away from her by other animals and/or being fed irregularly. Whatever has happened to her, it is still around feeding that the sparks fly.
In Wales I notice that when she has scattered her food far and wide and taken several minutes to track each bit down, she is less likely to rage spin. Presumably, because she isn’t certain that she’s actually found it all yet, the bowl-full/bowl-empty shock doesn’t hit her so abruptly.
Back in Birmingham, it occurs to me that it might be a good time to give ‘Green’, the slow feeder, another try.
I feed her in ‘Green’ for five days. Not an overwhelming success. She still can’t tolerate the frustration and dances on the feeder, scattering the food. And her defence of her food is, to say the least, vociferous. I am convinced that she had daily feuds with the seagulls in her earlier life in Portugal for she not only barks continuously but bounces up and down, head strained upwards in between grabbing a morsel from the feeder.
As she did in Wales, she becomes quieter when sniffing out the bits on the floor – I guess sniffing and barking at the same time may be difficult for a dog.
No, she’s not ready for Green yet. On Thursday we return to our feeding stand. But before I leave her to eat I scatter a handful of her dried food on the floor. She barks very loudly in defence of her meal, but when the bowl is empty she hunts immediately for the scattered food and, miraculously, she doesn’t have a rage spin.
I’m probably being too optimistic. We’ve often been here before: an idea seems to work and then she reverts. But here’s hoping.
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