Thundershirts and big boxes



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!


Sunday February 28th 2016


Wow! Almost March and Isis’s debut as a calendar girl! (On the Dogwatch U.K. 2016 calendar.) And last week I met Penny, February’s lovely lady, when she lent Isis her Thunder Jacket to try out.

Poor Ellie, my previous little dog, became hysterical during thunder storms and the fireworks season. She refused to enter the park from about October to February and Jo. recommended a Thunder Jacket. But then Ellie became too deaf to hear the terrifying noises and all was well.

It would never have occurred to me that a Thundershirt might help Isis, as I had assumed that her fear was caused by the fact that she has no visible iris and is therefore unable to adjust her eyes to the light. When Harriet told me that her Penny, who is not blind, was so frightened of the light and shadows in the living room that she refused to enter it, and explained how the shirt had helped her, I began to question my assumptions. Perhaps Hairy One’s fear could emanate from bad experiences which she associates with light and shadow.

This would explain why, although for the first few months she was here, she ran inside when the light suddenly changed, once she became very familiar with her garden, she was, and still is, perfectly happy to play there however bright the light or dark the shadows.

It wouldn’t explain, though, why she is still startled and irritable when lights are on in the house. Hmmmm. Well, one thing at a time. Let’s keep an open mind.

Isis has worn the Thundershirt four times to date. Each time I have been prompted to put it on her because she’s stuffed a back foot into her mouth, and acted out biting it viciously, while simultaneously uttering angry n-yag-yag-yaggs. Each time she has calmed down, but as yet I’m not sure whether this is  a result of wearing the shirt or merely coincidental. I think we will have to test it out with the t.v. on –  if I can remember how to operate the remote after all this time!

She is a little nervous when I’m putting the jacket on her but this could be because she is aroused already, or because she senses my urgency. Most likely the latter, I think. Once it’s on, though, she tolerates it perfectly. The first three times she curled up and went to sleep, and on the fourth occasion she got up and played merrily with a cardboard box. And, on each occasion, no more n-yag-yag-yagging.

She seems perfectly comfortable in it.






She has also lost her fear of the out-sized cardboard box. I was very surprised to find her sleeping in it when I returned from an evening out last Thursday.





Perhaps t.v. might be on the menu again!

I’ll keep you posted.


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 or

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