off to Newbrook Farm again


Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday 13th 2018


It’s ten past eight in the morning, and Isis and I are in the reception area of RSPCA Newbrook Farm. We’ve not been here for ten months because I’ve not been able to drive, it’s not on the bus route and it’s a sixteen mile round trip

As we leave the car, I remember earlier times when Isis refused to walk to the building and I had to allow at least twenty minutes to get her there from the car park. If I didn’t, I had to carry her for most of the way, or ring for permission to park in the disabled parking bay close to the building.

This morning she walks. She does hesitate now and again, but a few chin taps and reassuring pats move her forward.

On the way up the drive, I chat to a lady with a beagle cross. She is walking him around until his appointment time because there’s a cat in reception and, as she puts it, “He’s rather too fond of cats.”

Because she is registered here, Isis is able to see the vet today. Daisy will be a new client and I need to register her in person. While this is being done, Isis stands miserably by my side, tail between her legs and trembling visibly.

I am obliged to haul the reluctant canine the few feet to the seating area nearest to the consulting rooms.

But she doesn’t stop at the seats. Remembering the routine, she steps onto the scales and stands still until I let her know the job’s done. She’s still fourteen and a half kilos. That’s good.

A gentle lady vet whom we’ve seen before gives her a thorough health check and declares her a very fit dog.

Now for the nasty bit, Isis.

When I first took Isis to Newbrook, I suggested she wore a muzzle as she would certainly have attacked anyone who examined her. I don’t think she would bite  a vet now, but cannot guarantee it.

She allows me to put the muzzle on her, and the vet confirms that the troublesome anal glands are very full indeed.

At first Isis is a very patient dog, but as the squeezing becomes firmer, she attempts to execute a few handstands, wriggling her bottom and kicking out her back legs. The vet, the veterinary nurse and I manage to bring her back to earth.

Once the evil deed is done, the trembling ceases and Hairy One’s tail resumes its normal posture.

I ask for a worming tablet and some more Primovax to be sure that no pesky invisible mites nibble her. At least we can try to make sure that there’s nothing physical behind her meltdowns.

She has been much calmer this week, except for diving at her tail and barbering off neat little fans of hair. She must, of course, have been very uncomfortable.

We return to the desk and book Daisy in for Thursday morning at nine o’clock.

That evening, I apply the Primovax to Hairy One’s neck. She stands still and resigns herself to her fate. Then she creeps off to her bed.



That was a hard day, that was.



Thursday should be easier. Fortunately, Daisy is not one of those cats who shred one’s ears with continual high pitched yowling as you inch your way painfully (literally) through the rush hour traffic. When she is anxious, she becomes silent and immobile, except when the vet tips her from her carrier and she tries to hide up your sleeve or your jumper.

Ah, me. Another early morning for bed loving Human.



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 or

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