Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Wednesday September 12th 2018
After Sunday’s challenging exit from Kings Heath Park, Isis walks home like the perfect dog.
It soon transpires, though, that this display of canine perfection is only put on to lull me into a false sense of security. In reality, she has decided that it’s silly dog day.
My latest compromise with her over bad behaviour in her dining room isn’t working.
I give her her tea – biscuits and a raw egg – and retreat up the hall to let her eat in peace.
Peace? I delude myself. She waits until I disappear into the front room, begins to eat, counts twenty and barks loudly. She then gobbles down as much food as she can before I return and remove her tea.
She is not pleased.
The following is an unusually brief example of her outrage. Perhaps she doesn’t wish to show herself up.
After fifteen minutes, I return her dish and she munches angelically until she has finished.
We have a reasonably peaceful evening and I let her out for her last garden visit of the day.
Unfortunately, while she is out, there’s a sudden deluge so that when she returns her paws are covered in churned up mud.
She makes an escape bid and shoots into her bed; but wicked Human follows with a towel and begins GENTLY cleaning her filthy little feet.
As I tackle her front paws, she begins to grumble. I tap her on her back with two reprimanding fingers. But when I tackle her back feet, all hell breaks loose. She twirls and snaps viciously at her feet.
Sometimes when she has these outbursts, I can stop her by standing so close that she doesn’t have room to whirl. But not today. She whizzes around so fast that she bangs herself against my legs and a nearby chair, teeth firmly gripping one back foot.
In desperation, I push my good arm through the middle of the spinning, white, hairy doughnut and lift it up.
I want to stop her biting herself and my options are limited.
Not a good idea. On previous occasions, for example, when she has been trapped in a nightmare and I’ve unable to get through to her, holding her has eventually calmed her down.
But not tonight. She continues to spin in my arms like a furry catherine wheel. I return her to her bed where she completes a few more spins before sitting down for a growly snap or two.
I’ve no idea what has set her off. She doesn’t like her legs being washed or dried, of course, but it’s a very long time since she’s freaked out like this.
Usually her bedtime treats are already ‘hidden’ for her to find when she comes in from the garden but Human has been slow off the mark tonight and hasn’t done them yet.
No, that can’t be it. She’s not responded like this before.
I leave her to calm down.
When I return about thirty minutes later, she’s on the day bed. I distribute the treats around the room as usual.
She shows not the slightest interest.
I put a treat under her nose. She turns her head away. She doesn’t even bother to give it a sniff.
Next morning the two gravy bones left on her pillow have gone but all the other treats are still where I left them.
But when I put my hand by her nose to announce my arrival, she wags her tail happily and accepts hugs and kisses.
Obviously today is another day.
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 email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk