My name is Ruby, and I’m a seven-year-old golden retriever. I live in the countryside with two and a half humans, a poodle and a cat. I’m an agility dog by trade, and my hobbies are eating, swimming, chasing squirrels, swimming, digging holes, swimming and baiting the neighbour’s dogs. However, I’ve also been observing human behaviour for several years and consider myself to be something of an expert. In my blog, I’ll be exploring a few of the more bizarre problems dogs are likely to encounter with their humans, and proposing some solutions. Please feel free to contact me if you need advice.
Food Intake Control
It was St. Valentine’s Day last Saturday. Partner appreciation day, if the advertising hype is to be believed. And what did my so-called human “partner” do? She packed her camera gear into the car and drove off for the day without me! Not only that, but she came back smelling of other dogs, too tired to give me more than a cursory scratch behind the ears on her way to the beer stash.
So much for loyalty.
Of course, she wasn’t too tired to spend hours cooking a nice dinner for the household's food-obsessed human contingent. They were having roast duck with all the trimmings and gravy. Not that we dogs were allowed anywhere near it. Oh, no. Even on St. Valentine’s Day, we had to make do with our usual dish of dust nuggets. I tell you, I was feeling pretty unappreciated as I watched them prepare their meal. It was time, I thought, for some exclusive personal attention.
So I lay patiently under the table until all the plates had been served, and gave the female just enough time to sit down and take her first mouthful. Then I stood up, belched loudly a couple of times, made a few deep retching noises (humans hate that), and regurgitated all my dust nuggets from dinner onto the floor. I hadn't bothered chewing them when I ate them, so they made quite an impressive heap, steaming and fresh, in a slimy, dark brown liquid. They were also mixed with a few pineapple chunks I’d stolen from the male human’s unattended plate at lunchtime. It looked (and smelled) wonderfully appetizing to me, but humans seem to have different standards. In any case, the male's face went greenish-grey, and he lurched away from the table so quickly that he knocked his chair over and spilled his wine. The female didn't change colour, but she swore and limped off to get a roll of kitchen paper. In the meantime, I started gobbling up the vomit as fast as I could. It's something that always provokes a fun reaction from the humans, and this time was no exception. The female made a strange noise and dove under the table to drag me away, but I resisted just enough to make her lose her balance and fall sideways into the mess on the floor. And when she’d almost finished cleaning the first batch, I was able to retch a few more times to deposit my breakfast as well. It took her about ten minutes to pick it all up, wash the floor and change her clothes.
When the humans eventually sat down to their meal again, let’s just say the edge had gone from their appetites …
And there was a small added bonus. Dessert was chocolate fondue. I watched the female dip a grape into the chocolate, then stare at it, obviously comparing it to the dark brown dust nuggets she’d just cleaned off the floor. Quietly, she set the grape down on her plate without eating it. I was actually quite proud of myself. It’s the first time in living memory that she’s refused a plate of chocolate.
Happy St. Valentine’s Day, everyone.
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