Monday, August 1, 2011
Crazy Disciplined or Just Plain Crazy?
This is bad on several levels.
This is Joshua. Joshua is our 10-month-old American Bulldog mix. We adopted Josh at 11 weeks old. More on Josh's story in another post. All you need to know now is that Josh was born deaf and began training at 9 weeks old and we continued until he was around 6 months. We communicate to him using sign language. He's well-trained, but a lot of that is simply due to the fact that he has a great personality. Dogality? Caninality?
Anyway, Josh is crazy about his food. When his internal clock for meal time goes off, he is relentless. He acts a bit obsessive, not leaving you alone, "complaining" (sort of a whine/yawn) to you - trying to tell you that HE'S HUNGRY ALREADY. By the way, he only does this whine/yawn complain at three times: when he's hungry, when he needs to go outside, and when he's ready to go home from Club Canine and I keep standing and talking to my boss and he's run out of patience with me.
Another piece of vital information to this short story that is getting long is - I am a bit obsessive myself about what my dogs eat. And about my dogs in general. Okay, about almost everything. (Shut it, Mrs. Zipps.) They eat pretty high-quality food that I decided on after too much research. They get fish oil tabs for their skin. They take Benedryl for their skin and eyes. I put yogurt on top of all that for the live cultures (do your own research). Get it? The only people food I let them "snack" on is baby carrots, green beans, and cheese.
Here's where it gets bad.
As you know, I work at Club Canine, a doggie daycare and boarding facility, along with my 20-year-old son. Josh goes to work with both of us. So Josh and I were on our way to work Sunday afternoon when I found my stomach growling because I'd gone straight from church to pick Josh up and go to work. I WAS HUNGRY ALREADY.
So I got a kids' meal at Wendy's (insert shameful head bow). I know! So bad for me. But it was a kids' meal and not a clog-every-artery-and-just-kill-me-here-and-now regular size or (gulp) extra value meal. Don't judge.
Here's where it gets more bad.
I couldn't eat all the fries. So I gave Joshua one. (insert huge shameful head bow along with shaking head). Oh God, please forgive me, I know. Fine - I insert it into my own system. But to give it to my dog? My innocent, can't-choose-food-for-himself dog? Who trusts me to care for him in the best possible way?! My dog who ate two junebugs last night at work?! Wait, that doesn't support my point.
He loved, of course, every salty, greasy bite. So my dog heart ran rampant over my dog head and I gave him another. And this went on for a mile or so. Every time I would give him one, he'd gobble it down and look back up at me with those huge, sweet, puppy eyes and I would hear Oliver Twist croon, "Please ma'am, I want some more."
So I switched to putting a few down on the middle console so he could get them himself. And do you know what happened? DO YOU KNOW? He wouldn't eat them. He'd just look up at me until I signed to him "okay" and then he'd grab them and gobble them down. This is what he did every time I put more there until the fries were gone.
He is well-behaved and well-trained, but he is also a dog.
So again, I ask you - crazy disciplined or just plain crazy?