New regular posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday October 18th 2015
This image is included just to prove to Polymath that Isis’ new training regime has not reduced her to a lifeless, nervous wreck.
Here is a resumé of our progress since the last blog:
Wednesday evening. Tonight I have to take Hairy One’s food away only twice, not five times. As I remove the food, she aims a bite at me. Fortunately, I have my leather gardening gloves on. Even so, the impact of her teeth raises a blue lump on the base of my thumb. The second time she restricts herself to furious leaping, growling and yapping.
I wait patiently in the wings until her fury abates before counting to a hundred and replacing her food dish in its stand.
She finishes her meal without any more threats to predators. But then she has a rage spin so for one minute I withhold the little ‘treat’ dish which contains compensation for finishing her meal. When she is given this, she empties it and doesn’t spin again. She is rewarded with two small pieces of liver.
Thursday a.m. Again, I only have to take her food away twice. I could swear that I hear a few sotto voce growls but I can’t prove it!
Thursday p.m. She seems calmer tonight, I think. Generally, she pauses only to grab one mouthful before emitting the first angry yip, but tonight, amazingly, she eats quietly for a few seconds before warning off all the imaginary animals which threaten to steal her food. There are not many growls and these are very, very subdued. Once more I only have to remove her food twice. And after the usual fierce protestations, she quietens down more quickly than previously.
Polymath is shocked that I expect the poor little soul to be silent for a count of a hundred. Twenty is quite long enough, she thinks. Hmmm. Well, let no-one accuse me of being unwilling to take advice. I count to twenty. I’m sure Isis smirks.
On Friday and Saturday we continue our programme. She still throws tantrum rage spins both when her food is removed and as soon as her bowl is empty, but the spins are possibly less ferocious, and we’re not exceeding two food withdrawals yet.
I had not mentioned the food training to Ji. but after watching her devour her breakfast this morning he comments that she is eating more quietly.
We have been stuck on two food removals for five days now. I don’t expect to better this for a while. But from tomorrow I will remove the food on hearing even the quietest growl! .
Let’s see how it goes.
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.co.uk