A post should appear every Sunday
Sunday January 29th 2023
It’s such a relief to have weaned Isis from her previous habit of growling, screaming and yapping her way through each mouthful of her food, that over the months, Human grows complacent. Dog mealtimes should now be stress free, shouldn’t they, especially if the menu is varied? Yes, there have been hiccups of course, but this is only to be expected.
Yet, despite my efforts to change the fare every two or three days, Isis still turns her nose up today at something she ate with relish yesterday, or falls enthusiastically on her breakfast even though it comprises the same ingredients which she refused to eat the previous evening. Each time I post that I’ve cracked it, I soon find out that I’m sadly mistaken.
My dog, it seems, is still dissatisfied with the catering service. She’s probably unsure of how can she manipulate Human in order to get what she wants. I fantasise that this is her dilemma, and that she has been thinking very carefully about the most effective strategies to employ.
Obviously it is very hard for her to set aside years of making as much noise as she can; on the other hand, she really can’t stand any more of Human’s training tricks. Understandable. I mean, how would you feel if you were desperately hungry, and, just because you barked, your food was snatched away from under your nose, and you had to wait silently for it to be given back to you?
No, there must be a better way of asserting herself without that tarradiddle.
I fantasise further that she must have spent long hours thinking about this, probably while she was at Hollytrees Kennels last month. She would have had plenty of time to herself, and in the kennels, she doesn’t fuss about eating, just empties her dish as fast as possible before the other dogs gang up to ambush her and steal her food.
What can she do which will not only wind up Human but also reward Dog?
That’s quite a difficult one. She knows a multitude of ways of upsetting Human, but none of them involves a reward for her: she can swipe the pebble arrangement off the low shelf in the porch, but that will only irritate Human and provoke a loud shriek.
She can leap off the porch step, dragging Human with her so that all the stuff she’s carrying gets scattered over the path, but then she will be made to return to the step until she walks properly, and that’s a waste of time.
When they’re out walking together, she can turn round without any warning and stride off in the opposite direction, but if she does that, Human will bring her back, walk behind her and poke her furry backside as soon as she stops to rest her paws.
She can always stand demurely by the front door, wagging her tail sweetly while her harness is being put on. There’s a tricky strap which has to be fixed under her chest, and this requires a person to bend down with her face almost touching a dog’s muzzle. As soon as she feels heavy breathing on the hairs of her right ear, she can let out the loudest, most explosive YAFF possible and make Human leap three feet in the air. That’s always good for a laugh – yes, but that’s all a dog gets out of it.
I surmise that Isis continues to wrack her canine brains.
Ah, perhaps she might suddenly remember how anxious Human is when, only a few weeks ago, her precious dog is struck down with that nasty stomach bug.
Yes, indeed, and Isis remembers how much she liked the scrambled egg and rice which was served several times a day.
That was a very welcome change; moreover, she really enjoyed Human holding the little dish for her, and stroking her gently while she lapped up the food.
And she revelled in the praise heaped on her when she licked the dish clean.
Yes, instead of greeting her food bowl with a cacophony of ear piercing screeches, she will be silent – well, perhaps give a pathetically weak woof now and then to keep Human focussed – and just turn her head away from her dish. Alternatively, she can eat a couple of mouthfuls, and when Human, much relieved, relaxes and retires with her Kindle, her dog can push open the door and climb onto the day bed looking off-colour and leaving a virtually full bowl behind her in the kitchen.
That should stop the lazy so-and-so’s gung-ho behaviour – weighing out of dish of boring kibbles, without even wondering if her little dog might like something more tempting.
Yes, she’ll make Human cook her delicious little dishes of scrambled egg and rice, reward her further with lots of pats and strokes, maybe even kiss her on the top of her head when she’s licked away the last stray grain of rice.
What’s not to like?
It sounds like the perfect plan.
To be continued …………………………………………………….
Isis came from Aeza cat and dog rescue in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact email@example.com or go to http://www.dogwatch.co.uk.
Food can be a particular challenge. I went from trying many of the kibble brands on the market, also many canned brands. Then I got desperate enough to try the human grade dog foods, and even those bored him enough to make him walk away after a couple of month. I eventually gave up and started MAKING his food fog the last couple of years despite intense grief, and now caring for my niece’s 4 month old granddaughter much of the time. I’m also battling severe insomnia, just slept a few hours last night after going a week without. I didn’t believe that would make a person hallucinate, but in fact it did.
It’s reassuring to know that you’ve experienced this, as most dog people tell me they haven’t. When she takes to something, she’ll only like it for a couple of days . At the moment she’s eating her kibbles when I add a tablespoon of minced beef freshly cooked for each meal & with a little hot water added to make a thin gravy. I think she’s losing some lof her sense of smell.
I’m very sorry to hear that you’re having such a rough time.