Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
After accusing poor Isis of being irritable for no apparent reason last week, I am forced to apologise. She is not a malodorous dog but when she comes in from the garden late on Saturday evening, she brings with her a very pungent smell. A sort of creosote and very dead fish smell. I wonder if she has trodden in something.
She doesn’t come upstairs, fortunately, and when I get up next morning she is asleep on the door mat. At the top of the stairs a blast of last night’s smell hits me. Only it isn’t a smell any more. Now it definitely qualifies as a stench. I am puzzled. She is not happy and keeps inspecting her nether regions where her hair has black oily streaks. You’ve guessed. Why on earth has it taken me so long to twig? Yes, it’s eau d’anal glands.
Poor Isis. No wonder she’s irritable. She must be very uncomfortable and obviously doesn’t care for the odour either.
It’ll be off to Newbrook Farm this week.
The mealtime regime, aimed at silence during meal preparation, and an automatic sit when I put her dish in its stand is going very well. Waiting for her meals today, not a sound. And I don’t even need to hold up an index finger in front of her nose to keep her sitting. She doesn’t make a move until I tap her gently under her chin. The warning off of predators is much more subdued and, best of all, no post meal rage spins!
I’ve also begun to teach her what she can play with and what she can’t, rather than just taking the non-toys from her. This used to be a full-time occupation, as ninety-eight per cent of what she grabbed and ran off with used to be a non-toy. Now she is playing with dog toys, I am able to remove other objects, make a ‘leave’ sign and replace the object. So far she’s not growled an objection to having things taken away and she’s not immediately grabbed what I’ve confiscated as soon as I have put it down.
I began yesterday and was quite impressed. I am sanding the stairs. Don’t ask. (I started on them nine or ten years ago.) I locked the porch door, opened the window and left the front door open so that air would circulate.
Isis, who was enduring an enforced rest after eating, ventured into the porch. Floop! Floop! I put down the sandpaper. She has picked up the dog fleece I kindly left for her to lie on and is shaking it vigorously. I take it from her and communicate “No” and “Leave”. I return to the sanding. Crash. She has picked up a piece of wood and in doing so knocked over the shoe rack. I descend again and repeat my instructions. Once more I pick up the sandpaper. Ferlop, ferlop. This time she has the charity appeal bag. Again I explain what is required.
The next time I check she’s being a very good dog.
She hasn’t touched anything in the porch since.
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.c