Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday February 7th 2018
Oh, so got the date wrong on last Wednesday then. Par for the course.
Now, I know that if I read in a newspaper column what follows, I wouldn’t believe it. I’d be sure that the writer had made up bits, exaggerated others or at least conflated incidents which actually happened over a much longer period, or happened to someone else.
I assure you that the following did happen exactly as told, and all in one day: last Monday.
The catalogue of woe begins with Isis.
Isis is enjoying her lane play.
She’s really laid claim to the space. Now that we enter through our own garden gate, she tends to stick to ‘our end’ of the lane; consequently, there is a trampled muddy path down the middle of the once green track. There are also slain brambles scattered across it. Yards of them!
My lawn had no chance of surviving.
Today it’s all my fault. I haven’t given Isis her snake, and I don’t notice that she is playing with sticks.
I glance up from reading the news on my phone (shame on me) to see her whirling round angrily, attacking her tail. Something must be caught in her hair. I walk over to see what is bothering her and find nothing.
Then she begins to paw at her mouth frantically. Must be ‘stick mouth’- my blog friend A’s name for such incidents. Poor Isis is quite distressed but refuses to let me examine her mouth.
Just as I am about to take her back to the house, she shakes her head and gallops down to her favourite dancing corner. This is a frequent response to anticipation of the walk ending.
She seems fine now. The stick must have been dislodged.
Usually, when I place my hand on her back and grasp her collar, she surrenders. But not today.
She begins to twirl again angrily, growling and grabbing at her tail. Then she tears at her mouth so fiercely that she makes her lip bleed.
She doesn’t want me to peer into her mouth, and clamps her jaws tightly shut. After a while her jaws slacken and I manage to insert a finger. She tries to close her mouth, but she doesn’t attempt to bite me. It’s no-go time.
“Dear, dear, dear”, I repeat over and over again as I always do when she is unhappy or frightened. I know that she can’t hear me, but perhaps she can feel the rhythm. Or perhaps the chant just makes me feel better.
She licks her lips and I hastily prise open her jaws. Yes, there’s a nasty, short, thick little stick jammed tight against the roof of her mouth and both ends of it are wedged firmly between her teeth. She closes her mouth again.
It appears that this stick must be hurting her a lot because, after initial reluctance, she usually allows me to help her. This time it takes a lot of persuasion. Eventually I manage to grab the stick. Whether she bites me or not, I have to hold onto it. She might not let me have another go. It’s hard to shift. There’s no space between the roof of her mouth and the stick, and the blasted thing won’t break or bend.
I have to twist it and pull and pull as hard as I can. After about a very long minute, it comes loose, falls onto her tongue and slides off into the grass.
We’re both mightily relieved.
“What a good girl”, I tell her, patting her flank. She wags her tail heartily.
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
*So far I’ve been lucky and had no noticeable side effects from the nasty Methotrexate. I was horrified to discover a couple of days ago that it’s a chemotherapy drug.