Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday March 20th 2016
The good news is that it’s now much drier under paw so Hairy One can run on the grass. The bad news is that the sun has begun popping out again and hurling dark shadows in front of her without any warning.
She has a very trying week. On Sunday, though the grass is just right for a dog to race around and play on, the sun is very bright so Isis can’t enjoy it.
Poor Isis. There is worse to follow. On Monday, not only does her day begin with a trip to the vet, but a trauma in the park awaits. It is quite dull and Hairy One races around enjoying herself hugely. Until a playful and disobedient golden retriever races across her path without any warning. Before I can re-direct her, Isis runs straight into the retriever, almost knocking it over. Neither dog makes a sound, and neither appears to be hurt. The retriever smiles happily, as retrievers do, before running off. But poor Isis is obviously very shocked and doesn’t want to run any more.
She is still subdued when we set off for our afternoon walk and doesn’t enjoy it much. For the next few days she is very cautious in the park and will only take treats from one or two of her very trusted humans.
On Thursday I go through our training routine. I’ve not practised with her regularly, I’m ashamed to admit, but she has remembered almost everything. She sits, goes down, and trots on her lead by my side along the hall receiving treats as she goes. I haven’t reinforced getting up from the down position or waiting while I move away, so we need to do some more work on these.
With cheesy hands I signal ‘down’ and ‘up’ two or three times, then, without any warning she simultaneously growls fiercely and bites my left forefinger.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhwah! It hurts like hell.
Cradling my finger, I remove myself. And the cheese.
Isis stays in her bed inside her big box looking puzzled.
I couldn’t help the shriek of pain but I am careful not to show any anger towards her. There has to be a very good reason for the bite.
It soon comes to me. Of course. Stupid human has been waving deliciously cheesy hands at her. In fact stupid human even has a handful of cheese bits and is touch-signalling her with this hand. I am sure that Isis thinks that she is being teased. Cheese is offered, brought close to her face and then snatched away.
I’ve always thought that she has experienced food teasing in her previous life.
I decide to leave the training for a day or two. When I commence, I will be careful to handle the treats with my left hand only and to give touch signals with my right hand only.
Today, Hairy One is much happier. In Highbury Park she flinches now and again when we walk close to trees but when we make our way to a large clearing, she celebrates the sunshine, dancing up and down and running around tail held high.
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