It’s not his fault. It’s mine. He’s just so darn cute I can’t say no to him.
(secretly my husband wishes he had four paws)
But come on – have you seen my dog? He is adorable. He has floppy little ears that speak their own language of I am happy, I am submissive, I hear the UPS delivery man. He has little white paws that are very sensitive. When I caught Chris squeezing them each a few weeks ago and asked why he was hurting my dog he said it was part of an elaborate paw desensitization program.
It hasn’t worked.
He makes noises when he yawns and garbles when he’s upset. And when he’s pissed – you’ll know. He’s like a little human but he’s a…dog.
It’s not just me. The neighbor girl – is obsessed with my dog. Robyn tells me that is how you know your dog has truly arrived – someone else obsesses over him. She rings our doorbell to see if Boss is home to play. Then they proceed in 20 minutes of crazy laps. When she had to tell her 1st grade class what she was thankful for by putting feathers on a turkey – guess who was her #2 feather?
(you should know that her #1 feather was friends, #3 was her parents, #4 was her OWN dog)
Not only that but she bought Boss a present for Christmas. A Santa suit. Made for a 20 pound dog complete with hat and boots. But it’s the thought that counts no matter how much he hated us for making him wear it while she took him sledding down a hill while he sat in her lap (funniest thing I have ever seen).
Boss, however, was not amused.
He did give her a gift as well – a picture of himself with Santa. Which now sits in her bedroom.
No comment from her own dog.
Seeing that we are starting to love Boss like a child, we have become pickier about what he eats. Now, understand that Chris’ mom gets the gold medal for dog food pickiness. Kibbles are clearly not good enough for her two small dogs – so every week she cooks up some chicken thighs and chops up some broccoli. The dogs feast on a small plate of chicken and broccoli twice a day. Chicken for protein, broccoli to keep them regular (though in my experience I have never met a dog with a regularity problem) and pumpkin sometimes just…because.
When Boss returns from their house it is like he has spent a week in Shangri-La. Constant company, a little pink house where I-Chi stores her treasure (pens, plastic bags, tissues, bones), chicken, broccoli. He comes back to our house with a disgruntled look in his eyes and looks at his bowl of kibble like what the f*ck is this shit.
So then it began. Chris started adding a teaspoon of pumpkin to Boss’ kibble every day. He went from a dog that could care less about his food to a dog obsessed. Soon later it just took someone opening the refrigerator at 7 am to get out the pumpkin and he would start jumping up and down in the kitchen. No sooner did the pumpkin hit the kibble than he was making excited circles in the kitchen with a wagging tail.
First it was pumpkin once a day. Now twice a day. But I drew the line there. I feared that every time we sent Boss to Camp Schaller, Camp Schaffner, Camp Grandma or Shangri-La we would have to send explicit directions to not only poop him twice a day but to dole out a teaspoon of pumpkin.
Instructions for a dog? No. (unless you are ABK then you will post a two page document on how to care for her dog while away – someone should seriously publish that)
Well it hasn’t stopped. And it got worse the other night at Christmas Eve when someone (nonWaterstraatsomeonethatshallremainunamed) gave Boss…prime rib.
At least they asked permission but thus began a slippery slope. Now that he’s tasted prime rib, well….you know how it goes. He got a taste of the rich life and he wants more.
Meanwhile we just ran out of kibble. With a dog like Boss it takes about 6 months to go through a bag. He eats ¼ of a cup of kibble twice a day. That’s not much. When I watch Brenda's French Mastif, Hooch, he eats about 2 cups of kibble from a bowl big enough for Boss. Twice a day. We took Boss over there one day and put him in Hooch’s bowl to prove a point that Boss could fit into Hooch’s kibble bowl. On top of the kibble.
Monday night got very exciting when I decided to go to the store for kibble. Learning that the kibble we were feeding him was mostly chicken beaks, floor sweepings and cow dung, I decided it was time to find a higher quality kibble. So I went to the only store I know that sells higher quality things…
Understand that part of me was just beside myself that I was going to Whole Foods to shop for my…dog. Really. But the other part of me was feeling like a responsible pet owner for caring what goes into the little animal. Perhaps it was putting Cookie to sleep the other day and watching her on the vet table laying her head down one last time which tugged at my heart and made me realize these are more than animals in our house. These animals become our family and friends.
I grabbed myself a short cart (whoever invented the short cart – brilliant marketing idea, it makes me feel savvy, hip, speedy, able to dart up and down the aisle with its sleek design that promises nothing but young sexy green short cart wheeled fun) and headed to the pet food aisle.
My first impression was confusion. I looked at the bags of food and thought to myself – what the hell is with the cat pictures on all these bags? Who sells dog food with a picture of a cat? Then it hit me – I was looking at cat food. The dog food was on the next shelf.
Feeling not smart enough to be shopping at Whole Foods in the first place, I made up for it by pretending to study each bag. Shortly thereafter I realized I had no idea what I was even looking for. There had to be 5 different choices – some in cans, boxes, big or little bags. I had nothing to go off of except the color of the bag. Which is not really a bad way to choose anything. Kind of like choosing a book for its cover. Or a bike because it’s red (not that I’ve done that). So I found the prettiest bag which ended up being salmon flavored (yes it was for dogs) which sounded disgusting so I put the pretty bag back.
And found myself back to square one staring at a bunch of kibble bags.
Ok, Newman’s Own. I know who Paul Newman is and he makes good spaghetti sauce. So that means he makes good kibble? Wait, what does Paul Newman know about dog food? I decided the answer was not much so I skipped over that brand and found other fun things to look at. Cod Liver Oil pills, treats, green supplements. Part of me really cares about my pet but the other part is thinking – WTF. These are dogs. Did they take cod liver oil in the wild?
So what would they eat? Probably some raw meat. That’s it. I am leaving raw meat around my house and Boss can fend for himself.
Not so sanitary. Plus I’m scared of worms. So I finally settle for a bag of kibble that promises me there are no byproducts – no floor sweepings, no chicken beaks and nothing I wouldn’t want to eat myself (but not proving that theory any time soon).
This morning was the test. Would my prime rib spoiled dog take to his new kibble? Early this morning I scooped the new kibble into the bowl and went downstairs to ride. About 20 minutes later, Chris is standing next to my bike.
“Did you throw kibble all over the kitchen floor?”
Absolutely not. I've done a lot of crazy things in my life but throwing kibble is not one of them.
Chris explains how there is kibble all over the floor and Boss is under the ottoman. It’s his favorite hiding spot – because it’s too small for us to crawl under there and because there is a heating vent that he believes is his own personal electric blanket.
Chris goes back upstairs and I hear a lot of barking. A short while later, his sister, Meredith, appears (she is one of the highlights of Boss’ day; every day she comes over to drive to work with Chris and Boss thinks it’s the best thing since prime rib).
“Chris wanted me to tell you that even with pumpkin Boss does not like his new kibble. He ate off all the pumpkin and pushed the kibble aside.”
DAMMIT! I shop at the fancy pants store for no by product kibble and it turns out he likes chicken beaks and rusty nails instead.
After my ride, I go upstairs. I notice that Boss’ bowl is empty with the remnants of some pumpkin and a few shreds of what I assume was left over filet mignon. Oh for goodness sake. Like he’ll starve if he misses a meal. There are new kibbles scattered on the living room floor which I find sort of odd considering Boss actually had to take them from the bowl in the kitchen to the living room.
And where is Boss? Under the ottoman. Either hiding from me or hiding from his new kibble.
But I’m not backing down. I’ve got an entire 5 pound bag of new kibble and someone is eating it. Someone.
So I will try again tomorrow and depending on how that goes I might be finding creative new ways to add more kibble to my own diet or cleverly disguise each piece in a broth of pumpkin.
It’s just a dog, Liz.