back in the saddle again ……



Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.


Sunday October 4th? Really?

Quite obviously, I’m losing it. I am preparing myself to write this week’s post and discover that I forgot to click on the ‘publish’ button last week.


Sunday September 27th 2020

The new vet is confident that the steroids and antibiotics will sort out the dermatitis and the infected glands. She tells me that the steroids will make Isis very hungry and thirsty and that I should let give her as much food and water as she wants. She also says that I shouldn’t prompt her to do anything, just let her do what she wants to do.

“Follow her lead,” is the parting advice.

As we make our way home, I feel greatly relieved; I also feel very upset and angry that I have bathed her three times with the prescription shampoo. She is hot to the touch, her skin is bright pink, and a large area around her anus, on top of and underneath her tail are red and inflamed. I cringe to think how painful the water and shampoo must have felt while it was being applied and afterwards as it soaked into her skin.

No wonder she snarls and growls when I attempt to stroke her.

She has her breakfast and I give her the medication. This is very easy. She’s the most co-operative animal I’ve ever had as far as swallowing tablets goes. They only need to be wrapped in a thin layer of cheese, and GLUP! They’re gone.

Unlike Isis, but just like my border collies, my previous dog Ellie was extremely suspicious of the Trojan horse approach and refused, point blank to eat whatever delicacy hid the dreaded tablet. She was also very athletic so that getting her to swallow it was a battle royal.

She was, however, very well trained and very, very bright.

One day, after three abortive efforts, we sat on the floor facing  one another. “Ellie”, I told her sternly, “You have to eat it.”

She looked at me. I looked at her. I held out the tablet on the palm of my hand. “Ellie, eat it, I told her.”

She picked it up from my hand and ate it.

She had been taught ‘food manners’ for her Kennel Club Gold, and had excelled at the exercise where a dog is required to stop by a bowl containing a treat and not touch it until commanded. “Eat it” was the command I always used.

Obedience, of course, is an anathema to Isis, but she does know what it’s like to be very hungry. She doesn’t hesitate.

After breakfast, she retreats to bed. She’s very, very miserable and, clearly, extremely uncomfortable. Her irritated skin is maddening her, and she wants to tear out her hair. Throughout the day, she becomes more and more distressed. I entice her into the kitchen for her evening meal. She doesn’t want to go out, so I don’t insist.

Soon after I leave her for the night, I hear her snarling and growling. I know there’s nothing I can do for her. She barks throughout the night.

In the morning, I take her out into the front garden. She doesn’t want to go, but needs must.

She is very sorry for herself. It’s upsetting to see her so lethargic. She eats and she sleeps. She sleeps all that day and she sleeps through the night. She’s quite limp, and her nose is pale.

The following day I stay with her on the day bed. And she does something she’s not done before. She creeps up to me and lies very close. Then she readjusts herself several times until she is pressed up against me as close as she can get. Then she sleeps.

After her evening meal, she does the same.







When I wake her on Thursday morning, she leans against me and slowly wags her tail. After eating, for the first time since Monday, she walks down the kitchen, waits for me to open the back door, and goes out into the garden on her own.

She soon returns, follows me into the front room and lies close by on the rug while I have my breakfast. As soon as I get up,  we return to the day bed. She rests her head on my ribs and snuggles into me.

Again we sleep all day. I give up all thoughts of doing anything else. After all, the vet told me to follow Hairy One’s lead. She needs me. Who am I to argue?

I switch on the radio, pull a fleece over me, and acknowledge that it’s very pleasant, actually, recuperating with my Isis.

Isis doesn’t even object when a bit of fleece strays onto her. She sleeps deeply. She wakes only once or twice from a bad dream, accepts gentle strokes, wriggles closer to me and goes back to sleep.

By Friday, I can see a big difference in her. She is alert. She’s lifting her head and wagging her tail.

Would she like a little walk, I wonder. Yes, she would. A transformation. She’s excited when I fetch her harness. She’s eager to get out of the door. I don’t want her to go to the park yet and hope she might be up for a road walk. I doubt it though, as the sun is out.

I’m surprised when she hurries round the gate, turns sharp left and sets off at a very brisk pace along the pavement.

Gosh, a lot has happened out here since she last walked this way. She sniffs and sniffs. I only intend to take her for a short walk, but she shows no sign of flagging.

Then, on the way home, her pace slackens. She’s walking very slowly now. She must be tired. I’ve overdone it. Oh dear, we’re not halfway home yet. I urge her on. She’s reluctant to walk.

Then, suddenly, she lifts her head high. She sniffs the air. It’s about to rain. Brilliant. She leaps forward, executes a couple of twirls, and we’re off on our erratic pavement dance. A light drizzle continues until we reach home. We’ve been walking for almost an hour. She sleeps peacefully for the rest of the day.

Her skin is much less inflamed. On Friday I dare to let her ride in the car without her Elizabethan collar and she doesn’t attack herself. I carry it with us when we get to the park though, just in case. She has two or three little snaps at her tail, but she doesn’t close her teeth on it. She dances on the grass in the shade.

At home she has a brief play with a new, springy piece of cardboard I’ve given her, but she’s still too sore to play for long.

She’s definitely getting better, though. She doesn’t cringe and creep now when she goes into the garden. She’s interested in her surroundings again.

When Blitzi visits on Saturday, she menaces him as she usually does, tracking him down and facing him off. He finds her even more scary when she closes in on him with that offensive blue plastic weapon on her head!

Today she elects to stay in Highbury for over two hours. I leave her collar in the car, and she’s fine without it.

Now, she no longer snuggles into me. She returns to normal, settling in her own space at her end of the bed.

Oh well, you can’t have everything.

It’s such a relief that she’s well again.


Sunday October 4th 2020

Isis is doing very well. The vet was very pleased with her. She has to continue with her medication for a few more days but appears to be bouncing with health.


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











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

This entry was posted in a vet visit, dear little Isis, dreaming, Highbury Park, Isis at home, Isis is sad, Isis says "No"., nightmares, oh dear, poor Isis, rain, scenting, self-damaging, self-harming, sleeping, sleeping arrangements, strange behaviour, walking in the park, walking my deaf/blind dog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to back in the saddle again ……

  1. Ian Simkin says:

    Good to hear Pat, glad she’s on the mend – & you with her xxx


  2. So happy to hear the dancing girl is back to herself.


  3. Amber Lipari says:

    What fabulous news! So what exactly was the cause of the skin issue?


    • In the end she had severe dermatitis. Her new vet thinks that this began with an allergy. I think that the infection in the anal glands triggered her self harming, which, in turn, caused the dermatitis. Then, because the first diagnosis was incorrect, the prescribed medicated shampoo I was instructed to rub into the poor little dog’s skin just increased the soreness and irritation so that her entire skin even that on her ears, became inflamed.


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