I'm a soft touch. I'll admit it. But it shows someone is coming out of his shell, at least where food is concerned.
That someone is my own little furry puzzle. Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM).
His PTSD from the dark days when he was a puppy are slowly fading. As best as we could figure, some moron decided that a McNab should make for a good hunting dog.
If you need to hunt to put food on the table, do it by yourself.
If you need to hunt to prove your manhood, I have a suggestion that involves surgery originally popularized in Denmark.
Much simpler than putting that nonsense on a dog.
Rack still doesn't eat well on his own. Some day he may allow himself to be the beta-dog in the pack. For now, he only eats when I nag him to. I have to nag him because his food has to be wet due to a missing pre-molar. Wet food goes bad fairly quickly when the house is kept at 78 during the day if someone is home.
80F if nobody is.
Tapping on the bowl to insist that he pays attention to it may or may not work, and mornings are easier to get him to eat because this all happens before the sun is up, sometimes by as much as two hours.
I did say that I am an early riser.
There are exceptions to the rule.
You see, I've gotten quite good at making Barbecue Pork in the crock pot. Cook on low until the interior temperature is 140F. It takes about 3 1/2 hours. One cup of sauce to 3 pounds of Pork Loin. Since Pork is currently $1.89 a pound, it means we have a lot of it here.
That recipe works with chicken and beef at 165F, as well as vegetarian alternatives although they are a bit more forgiving with temperature.
Rack will actually get within an inch of the plate while I am eating. Pretty bold for someone who doesn't like his own food and considers himself at the Back of the Pack!
If he doesn't eat his food by the time I finish mine, he doesn't get any. He's starting to realize the pattern and is actually beginning to eat his dinner. One mouthful at a time, he will shuttle between his bowl and my table. Nose sniffing the air, just under my elbow. Then back to the bowl.
At least I'm not having to hand feed him any more. He was THAT shut down.
But after dinner and dog walk, we have a routine. Bad sitcoms from times gone by in the last century, mostly. I'm in the big green chair. Rack's got his mat by the chair and the little "dead area" by the wall. He tends to ignore the mat, wadding it up into a pillow.
I guess 78 is a little warm if you're wearing a full length black fur coat when you're a dog.
The tiles are much cooler than that mat.
Eventually, after dessert doesn't fully kick in, I get up and have a small cheat. Lately it's been plain unsalted pretzels, but it can be anything.
Twin Brown Laser Beamed Eyes. You can practically hear the relays click into place.
"No, Rack, Not for dogs!".
It doesn't work. He knows it's for dogs. He continues.
I go back to watching Arnold the Pig snort around Hooterville.
I won't give him any if he gets too pushy and so far that works. I'm working my way through the small handful of pretzels. If I have to use a bowl, then my own "Trainer" discipline kicks in and I start obsessively counting calories. After all, this is "Snack" after "Dessert".
Yeah, I'm a soft touch for myself too.
The handful of pretzels are dwindling. Rack's interest hasn't waned. He's walked to the other side of me and is trying to stare me down.
"No, Rack. Sorry!".
He doesn't believe me. Don't lie to your dog. It doesn't work. You always let yourself in for a disappointment if you do.
Two pretzels left. Rack is down in the corner again. One ear erect, the other one cocked over at the top. He's calmed down but one eye is still open and watching me.
I put the first one into my mouth and look down at him. He immediately perks and looks back.
I hear from the peanut gallery "You know you're going to, just give it to him!".
I do. He takes it gently from my hand as if I am handing him the greatest gift in the world. One small, bite sized, unsalted, store-brand, pretzel.
CrunchCrunchCrunch and it's all over.
Until tomorrow night. We've got three bags of the things sitting around in the cupboard.
I'm thinking maybe Nachos. We did get some tortilla chips at the market too!