Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday July 22nd 2018
We’re going back a few months.
It’s May and I am reviewing Hairy One’s food related behaviour. Yes, her mealtime manners are much improved. She is definitely getting over her three weeks in kennels last September.
While there, you may recall, she raised merry hell as soon as her meal had been served, and continued merry helling until her bowl was empty. One could, apparently, hear her all over Holly Trees. Judging by T.’s description, it may have been possible to hear her all over Wythall.
Now that meal time rages are, hopefully, behind us, we can tackle the bedtime treats issue.
Like most dogs, Isis loves her bedtime treats.
Previous dogs enjoyed hunting all over the room for their treats. To make the hunt more interesting, we tried to use as many different hiding places as possible; high and low; under things, on top of things, inside things.
At first Isis is given her treats. Once she has settled in, I try her on the hunting game.
The good news: once she gets the idea of searching for her rewards, she is surprisingly good at finding them, just as good as the other dogs were.
The bad news: after she searches in one of her two beds or on the futon and eats the treats she finds there, she becomes hysterical and ferrets frantically among the covers, emitting raucous, shrieky barks.
This is not the calming bedtime activity one would wish for.
‘Now, what’s going on here?’, I wonder. It’s very strange. She happily sniffs out and eats the treats placed on chair seats, the edges of drawers at varying heights, and the shelves of the trolley.
So why does she turn from a happy little dog into the hound from hell when the treats are placed on the futon or in one of the dog beds?
I’m used to Hairy One’s strange behaviour, but this particular performance puzzles me for years.
In deference to my neighbours, I just make sure that she gets her bedtime treats before midnight.
Goodness knows why, but suddenly, in April, I remember the first time she became hysterical over a treat. With apologies to readers who have been following the blog since its beginning, I’ll retell the tale.
The culprit, in this story is a sausage. Not any sausage, but the very delicious sausage which I buy her on the way to Wales. I break it up into small sections, give it to her and drive away from Dinkey’s Diner. Suddenly, without even a warning growl, all hell breaks loose on the back seat.
Isis has only been living with me for a few weeks so her behaviour is, to say the least, alarming.
Is she having a fit? Will she attack me?
Managing to avoid driving into a roadside tree or an oncoming truck, I pull up as soon as I can in order to investigate the situation and, hopefully,to calm the irate creature.
Eventually, I discover that a section of sausage has become enveloped in her blanket.
I return the sausage and all is well.
When she flies into nightly treat rages at home, I always give her the benefit of the doubt. I run my fingers round the seams of her beds, shake out her futon cushions, check the adjacent floor space. Not once do I find a treat.
O.K. There’s no treat uneaten. Isis has not missed a scrap. But still she rages. And Hairy One’a rages, as we know, are nothing if not spectacular.
She calms down only when, after giving her two or three ‘cross finger taps’,
I lead her off to bed.
to be continued …………………
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