Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Poor Isis. Off to RSPCA Newbrook Farm for 8.50 to have her anal glands emptied. Her booster vaccination is due too.
It’s a dull morning so hopefully I won’t have to carry her. We arrive early on the assumption that it will take at least fifteen minutes to persuade Hairy One to walk from the car to the door of the animal hospital. It does. But, with encouragement, she actually walks inside too.
She stands still and waits like an angel dog. I remember the first time we waited here and her spinning, snapping and barking at the overhead lights was so vigorous that all the staff in the office gathered behind the counter to peer at the fluffy phenomenon.
I weigh her. She is only 10.55 kilos. She’s lost weight since last time. I ease her in through the consulting room door and M., the lovely Irish vet pats her. She shies away. He is surprised to learn that she is blind.
She receives her vaccination stoically. Yes, a muzzle is a good idea. She is horrified, beside herself, when her anal glands are emptied. She is desperate and I struggle to hold her head as she lunges continuously at M.
Job done, she calms down and stands patiently while I voice my worries about her weight. Like the other vets, M. thinks that her weight is not problematic for a young, very active dog. We collect a year’s supply of worming pills and off we go. No hesitation now, of course.
But her traumas are not over yet. She has to be washed. This is tricky as she’s never allowed me to get near her rear end. Needs must.
I sacrifice my washing up bowl and mix the shampoo in a plastic dish. I put on my waterproof jacket and lift her onto the plastic garden table. Scooping up a handful of shampoo mix, I massage it onto her bottom and then between her back legs. To my utter amazement, she stands there leaning against me. I wash her very thoroughly and rinse her off. But then I go too far. I attempt to unravel two very nasty mats and she flips into a furious, rear attacking rage. I contain her so she doesn’t bite herself and continue to rinse her. Then I put her down so I can fetch the scissors.
The poor little creature retreats to the bottom of the garden. When I pick her up and place her back on the table she allows me to cut off the bad mats. This time, once released, she lies down under the table and doesn’t come out until her food is waiting for her.
She looks defeated. This is so unlike Isis. I feel very sorry for her. She is edgy and restless for the rest of the evening and frequently dives at her rear and her back legs. I am asleep when she comes upstairs but in the morning find spots of blood on her sheet. She has bitten herself for the first time in weeks. I expect she feels sore, confused and upset.
I have to get to the point of being able to groom all of her and make a gentle start today. While we’re playing ‘put my collar on’ first thing in the morning I caress her rear a couple of times with the very soft brush, just to establish a prerogative. She accepts this. When it’s grooming time, I brush her ears, face and neck first as usual, then venture carefully a little way down her back. When she gives a little growl, I stop and go back to her head. We end up with ten light brushes from her neck to the end of her tail without a single growl. I am delighted with her. It’s the first time she has allowed me to do this.
She gets two Markies and lots of pats.
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.c