Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday November 22nd 2015
On three consecutive mornings I am jerked awake by piercing yaps followed by vigorous foot and tail grabbing.
Mornings are not my best times, and Hairy One’s behaviour is irksome and very disappointing. Why is she doing this now that her anal glands have been dealt with? I give her a few irritable nudges and tell her not to be so silly. Then I notice that the early morning sun has crept out and is lying in gold stripes across her front legs.
I stumble out of bed and adjust the screen.
Silence. We snooze on.
Thank goodness for vets. After Tuesday’s visit, for the first time in weeks, we are able to share the futon amicably. With the lights off, of course, I am able to use my Hudl again. She no longer protests when I move around, but snuggles contentedly into my legs. And it’s quite a luxury to have a conversation on the phone which is not punctuated by ferocious snarls.
She must have suffered a lot of discomfort. During the next few months I will keep a lookout for potential anal gland problems. Mustn’t let her get into that state again.
Despite its sobriquet, Poo Forest is not redolent of discarded dog bags, merely a pleasant wooded area of Kings Heath Park where Keiko, the coy Akita, is most likely to get down to business. Over the last few weeks Isis has grown very attached to exploring Poo Forest, where, on every clump of grass, bush and tree, apparently, she scents little mammals. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to dislodge her even after thirty or forty minutes of feverish sniffing.
On Friday she is once more engaged in sniffing there when, out of the blue, she begins to pounce on low and fallen branches and twigs, snapping them off and twirling around with them. She dashes this way and that in great excitement, chomping on her spoils. Once one twig is thoroughly deconstructed, she leaps up and snatches another. No, I am not allowing her to strip the rhododendrons. Most of her sticks are already dead or grabbed from heaps of prunings. Honestly.
Although Isis has been with me for over fifteen months, this is the first time she has ever played beyond the boundaries of her own house and garden.
And today there’s another first. As we walk beneath some of the tallest trees, she must have caught the scent of squirrels for she leaps up in the air over and over again, snapping her teeth and barking. She’s never barked outside her own domain before.
I am delighted, even though one sudden foray tips me off balance, causing me to drop her (full, off course) poo bag. I sit on it heavily and it pops loudly like a burst balloon. Too much information, I think. Sorry.
The light is fading and it’s very cold. Time to go, Isis. Tug. Jerk. She digs in her little heels like a child being dragged from a playground. She is a very determined little animal and we make slow progress across the grass as I stride forward dragging behind the protesting Isis who bucks and twirls and shakes her head violently in an effort to dislodge her harness. All else having failed, she grasps the feathered tip of her tail between her teeth and twirls. She looks like an animated fox stole. I ignore the possibility that someone might report me for abusing her, and plough heartlessly on. After a few yards, she complies and trots happily by my side towards the next adventure.
Eating her meals quietly is a work in progress. On Thursday she eats both meals beautifully. Then, on Friday, half way through her breakfast, she gives a defiant yap. But she is so much better that I am happy to take it slowly.
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