Feeding the dog

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I took my shower tonight with my after-school eggroll cooling on the bathroom counter. Maybe you’re wondering why I would take such an odd thing into the shower with me. The answer is: I have a dog.

Now, I’m willing to bet right now that dog-owners understand what I’m talking about. There may even be some cat-owners who fight their felines for the food that only humans should consume. At our house, if the food is in the house, the dog figures it’s hers and if it turns out she doesn’t like after licking it all over, she will happily spit it back for us.

My eggroll was locked in the bathroom with me, so that after my shower it would be cool enough to eat…and it would still be there for me to eat. I’ve been the victim of an egg-roll thief before, and I learned.

We have tried everything to convince the dog that she is not welcome to food simply because it is in the kitchen, to no avail. She has particular favorites: bread is big with her, she adores popcorn, she also is willing to consume any meat available, but her true love is chocolate.

I thawed out a loaf of banana bread left in the freezer from Christmas. I had a slice–it was pretty good, so I decided I’d have some more. I went to the kitchen, but cutting board was bare.

“Why did you put away the banana bread?” I whined to my husband, “I was going to have some more.”

“You got banana bread out?” he said, leaving his football game for a moment. “Great! I’d like some.”

We both stared at the empty bread board. Then we looked at the dog, who was sitting calmly watching us, bread crumbs littering the floor around her. Okay, so now we know not to leave down banana bread, or white bread, or whole grain bread or lefsa, or crackers. All of these are just too much temptation for the dog. She prefers it with butter or jelly, but she’s not choosy–she’ll take it any way she can get it.

It is also a bad idea to pull the broiler, with two sizzling steaks on it, out of the oven and turn to reach a meat fork. Before I could turn back, she had one of those steaks half-eaten and was standing on the other. I really hope she burned her mouth, but I was too busy trying to stab her with the meat fork to ask!

Chocolate seems to be our downfall. She once ate the middle out of some chocolate bars of which we had none. My husband suggested we cut around the outside, but I wasn’t eager to risk dog slobber, just so I could have a brownie. She also ate half a chocolate pie one night. He was so determined to have some of that pie anyway, that he carefully ate around the other side. He offered to share–I wasn’t tempted!

Chocolate bars, chocolate candies, chocolate cookies are also open season for her. She is particularly fond of Reeses peanut butter cups and Oreos, but if it’s chocolate, she is right on the spot.

If you’re wondering by now why we don’t do a better job of keeping our food out of her hands, it’s because we’re getting old, and we don’t pay close enough attention. She took a pop tart out of my hand at breakfast one morning. I yelled at her, got up to wash my hand at the sink and came back to find her slurping the rest of my cheerios out of the bowl. I offered her my coffee, but apparently she only takes it with cream, because she refused.

I don’t really expect this situation to improve because the dog relies on our inattention and lack of forethought to get her snacks. My husband has been insisting for a long time that she is just taking advantage of our carelessness..she’s really not an aggressive food thief. Last night, he was eating popcorn and throwing some to her as well. He stopped so that he could make comment to me while holding his next piece of popcorn in his hand. Before he could react, the dog leapt into his lap and snatched the kernel of corn neatly from his fingers. Then, the dog calmly climbed down and sat on the floor, looking at him.

“You’re lucky you didn’t have it at your mouth,” I observed, “because your non-aggressive food pig would have taken off your jaw to get it.”

That’s what we get for feeding the dog!

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