Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday June 6th 2018
Back to Sunday then.
It’s now 7.30 p.m. and Isis is lying on the day bed. She now has two modes. Spells of listlessness are punctuated by sudden leap-up-and-snarls. She does not respond to my efforts to comfort her. She still has not eaten. She looks utterly dejected.
When I put her bowl under her muzzle, her nose twitches. She is clearly tempted by the sardine. She is hungry, but she’ll not follow me into the kitchen. Feeling sorry for her, I hold her bowl while she attacks her food. She is very on edge and in between mouthfuls she jumps onto her hind legs growling, yipping and snapping at the air.
I wonder whether something is hurting or irritating her.
After much cajoling, I manage to get her to stand so that I can run my fingers all over every inch of her. Yes, every inch. Amazingly, she allows me to examine her legs. I discover a small patch of dried poo sticking to her anus. She allows me to remove it.
Could that be what has been upsetting her?
She makes her way back to her bed where she continues to growl and snap.
Perhaps her skin is irritated. She is groomed regularly, and looks clean, but with one arm out of action, I’ve not been able to give her a bath for almost a year.
I give her a very thorough shampoo and many rinses, and snip off any murky looking hair hiding in secret places.
Understandably, she growls now and then. So would I. She’s very patient though.
The water’s drained, the scissors put away. As I lay the towel gently across the back of her neck, her tail swings up and begins to wag.
The ordeal is over.
Damp and deflated, she returns to bed. She’s still not right.
It’s after nine when she finally slinks from her bed to the door and then, very, very slowly creeps into the hall. She’s going towards her water bowl, and I realise that she’s not had a drink since she was in the park. She must be extremely thirsty.
The hair on her undercarriage almost sweeps the floor. Keeping close to the wall, she crawls round the door, glancing nervously over her shoulder as she goes. She reminds me of Gary Cooper making his way up the deserted street towards the waiting gunman in the film High Noon.
After drinking, she returns to bed.
At midnight, she accepts that it’s bedtime for dogs and is chin-tapped out into the garden. As usual, while she is out I lay her bedtime treat trail out in the back room.
She returns, finds all the treats and goes to bed.
She barks spasmodically until after three a.m. Then she’s quiet.
Almost always she picks up my scent as I walk down the hall, but when I go down next morning, she’s still spark out. She’s exhausted herself. When I place my hand close to her nose, she wakes, sits up and wags away happily while I cuddle and pat her.
She appears to be back to her ‘normal’ self again, except that she sits down by the kitchen door instead of the back door and refuses to move until she’s chin-tapped outside.
Well, I can cope with that.
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