New regular posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday September 16th 2015
A., who had not seen Isis since March visits today and is repeatedly struck by how much happier, more confident and relaxed she is. Isis recognises A., of course and even gives her a wag or two. It’s lovely to see Hairy One’s progress through the eyes of someone who knew her well all those months ago. And it’s not long before Hairy One, who is stretched out on the rug, allows A. to tickle her under-carriage.
Almost every time we walk in the park – yes, as long as it’s not sunny, we actually walk at a normal pace round the park – someone remarks on how much better she’s doing. I had not realised that so many people had witnessed our early struggles: the sit down and lie down strikes, the apparently inexplicable terror of certain areas of the park, the tuggings and strainings to get away, the vigorous and relentless twirling rages, the nervous circuits of the car park which more often than not she could not be persuaded to exit.
Angry twirls are a thing of the past and it is weeks now since I have had to pick her up and carry her along a ‘dangerous’ section of the path.
Her social life is very, very gradually improving too. For months now she has been comfortable with doodles Nancy and Rufus, and gentle giants Conchobhar the Pyrenean Mountain Dog and the
True, she still retreats from Keiko who likes to give her a quick biff, and her body language still betrays anxiety, but more often than not now she stands her ground even when less familiar dogs approach.
And the past week has been full of social interactions. We meet
and the lively
Tentatively, we allow a new person to say hello
and we approach the Treatmobile by ourselves, albeit a little nervously
and are rewarded with a treat or three.
And then we meet a gentle little spaniel whom she has not come across before. She approaches Isis very cautiously and Isis sniffs her nose for a few seconds.
But her most triumphant moment is engineered by Rufus. Because it has been very sunny he hasn’t seen Isis for several days and his always upfront muzzle nuzzles are even more energetic that usual. Isis tolerates the first one or two but then puts her paw down. She chitters her teeth noiselessly at Rufus and sends him off.
We are all very impressed with this new show of confidence.
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.co.uk