Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Sunday June 29th 2016
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarggggh! The last few days have not been good ones.
Because Isis was getting very angry with her anal glands and doing a lot of tail grabbing, I brought her vet’s visit forward by two days. Off we go on Wednesday, and, with some persuasion, for the second time she walks up the long drive to the hospital block and in through the door. Hurrah!
She is, the nice lady vet tells her, a very good girl. The very good girl is, of course, wearing a muzzle at the time; nevertheless, later, when the muzzle has been removed, the humiliating attention to her nether regions is over and she is back on terra firma, she wags her tail politely.
From RSPCA Newbrook, straight to the park, then home for breakfast, a very thorough rear end shampoo and lots of warm rinses. Now, when she waves her tail, a delightful aroma arises. Very nice, if you ask me. Isis, of course, is unimpressed. And it feels like she’s been crabby ever since.
On Thursday, she regresses to worrying her front feet, so, on Friday morning, I get out the Hibiscrub again, mix two little tubfuls and, after a struggle, succeed in immersing both of her front feet. Isis, who is feeling far from cooperative, kicks one of the tubs away. This is very irritating, of course, but Human works hard to remain calm.
After Hairy One’s third or fourth – or even fifth – attempt to empty both tubs onto the kitchen floor, Human forgets about trying to remain calm and grasps the two front legs very firmly indeed. Two fluffy feet stay in the tubs.
But not for long. Isis flies into a rage and dives at her right foot and my right hand. A spot of blood appears on the towel beneath her feet and another on my right hand. I lose my rag and bellow rude things in her beautiful ears before replacing her feet once more in the virtually empty tubs. I am, of course, immediately ashamed of shouting at my little disabled dog.
Clearly, she is not ashamed of snapping at her long-suffering human and continues to growl menacingly while I remove her little feet – from the Hibiscrub, I mean, not from her legs, tempting though that might be. She continues to grumble while I very gently dry each foot.
I desist from bathing the ungrateful animal’s feet again. I put her Doggles on her when she appears to be irritated by the light …………………………………………………………………..
…….. and I take the Doggles off her when she appears to be irritated by them. I take her out for half an hour on her new lawn to give her a break.
But her mood persists. On Friday night and Saturday night I can’t stand the grumping any more and pick her up and plonk her on the other side of the door. When scratching the door doesn’t have the desired result, she goes off to bed. Tonight, thankfully, she decides to have a few growls in the hall, so I shut the door behind her. I’ve just been upstairs to check: yes, she’s already asleep.
She seems very happy bouncing around the park twice a day but grumpy at home. Sometimes, once something has happened to upset her, she tends to go into freefall. Perhaps the accumulation of vet’s visit, bath and then Hibiscrub is just too much.
This week has been one of rapidly changing weather, literally warm, bright sun one minute and black skies and sheets of rain the next. Perhaps it is the sudden and frequent shift from bright skies to dark which is disturbing her.
Experts advise that for the first season a new lawn should have as little use as possible. Maybe this deprivation is affecting her.
I worry that she has some health problem. But, apart from her cranky behaviour, there is no evidence of illness.
Whatever is upsetting her, I decide that ‘time out’ might help both of us. She might feel less stressed if allowed access to the bedroom during the day. She seems more relaxed there and has been sleeping much better at night lately, even when she has been irritable during the day.
This week I also discover that the carrying-on often stops abruptly when I walk out of the room. I will be consistent with the walking out on her and see if this brings about an improvement.
‘Naughty steps’ for dogs? Now there’s a thought!
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