I just served up dinner for Dane the Mangy Rescue Mutt and had to laugh. He was, as usual, beside himself with anticipation, and even more so because he saw me place the core of the apple I’d just been eating into his bowl before scooping his dog food in on top of it.
Apple cores have become a serious problem in our household, so much so that we can no longer eat an apple at all if Dane is near enough to hear the crunch. We have to put him in a bedroom, or outside, or in the garage, because he has overactive salivary glands and, when stimulated, they produce enough drool to solve a small municipal water crisis.
And for some reason nothing…I repeat, nothing…stimulates his glands like an apple core. Go figure. It’s not so bad with popcorn or miscellaneous kitchen scraps. He doesn’t do it for chicken skin, carrot ends, squash rinds, browned lettuce (lettuce!) or any of the other produce whittlings that I toss him while cooking. But an apple core…a fucking apple core…triggers something in his perpetually starving little imagination that sends us into hazmat suits.
So we attempt retraining. We no longer give him apple cores from our hands, right after the last bite. No ho. We take them out to the garage and place them into his out-of-reach dog bowl to be incorporated with his next meal. We’re determined to teach him the value of delayed gratification no matter how much he dislikes the concept and, even though his dragging body/droop eared/tragic-eyed reproach is disconcerting, I think we’re making progress.
He dines in the garage and only in the garage. Today’s dinner consisted of said apple core and dry kibbles with a spoonful of digestive enzyme powder dumped in a clump and then a generous drizzle of stinking salmon oil over all. He gazed at me in adoration as I slopped it all together, prancing around and shaking his head a few times to make sure all the long drool tendrils wrapped firmly around his face and then, once I set the bowl down, offered up a small puddle of slime oblations to the garage floor while waiting for the actual command to eat.
He always does this. Always. I don’t know why it struck me as so funny today but it did. Sometimes I have to shake my head and wonder why we love these ridiculous, slobbering, undignified creatures…who lick themselves and eat each other’s shit no less…so much, but there you have it. Their disgusting habits even endear them to us…which is so weird I can’t even think about it.
But really, what in the world would I ever do without this guy?
copyright Dia Osborn 2013