Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Sunday March 5th 2018
It’s a while since we caught up with Hairy One’s table (as it were) manners. As you may recall, these had deteriorated alarmingly by the time she returned in September from three weeks in kennels.
Here she was, once again ferociously defending her dinner from hordes of imaginary creatures, just as she did when she first came to live here.
Three weeks, it appears, is long enough to re-establish the habit with a vengeance, for it has been surprisingly difficult to get her back onto the straight and narrow.
After battling with the, ‘You bark and I take your dinner away’, routine for months, she did become much less frenzied. Some days she even ate quietly. But there were still frequent nyaffing outbursts, and at this stage I am beginning to despair of retraining her.
A new strategy is called for, and I decide to employ the ‘well behaved dog gets treat, noisy dog doesn’t’ routine which works so well with grooming.
Isis sits nicely, as always. I touch her face or neck gently to signal it’s time to eat. If she defends her food raucously, she gets no treat. If she eats quietly, there’s a reward.
She’s a bright little dog and cottons on quickly.
Sometimes, especially if there are bits of sun slanting through a window, she emits a low grumble as she munches. This is acceptable as long as there’s no escalation.
And when it’s dark, I switch off the light before she eats, and all is calm.
So feeding time is no longer a battle.
What a relief.
There’s one downside though. Once she’s finished eating like a civilised animal, and is sitting, nose uplifted, ready for her reward, she finds Human unacceptably slow to produce it, and gives a loud, shrilly meaningful bark.
Oh well, you can’t win them all.
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