Talking to animals

September 14, 2007

I need to have a long talk with our vet, on the subject of the dog’s weight. Every time I go, they tell me to feed him less. And I think I’ve succeeded. I can definitely see a waistline. If I rub him, I can feel the ribs.

I’ve heard that this is how you judge the obesity of dogs.

But, no matter how much weight this dog loses, he will still be huge. To the best of my knowledge, there is no diet available to make a dog shorter.

And what we’ve got now is a dog in fairly good physical shape, who is very hungry enough to eat anything he can grab, food or not, and smart enough to be resourceful.

This morning’s breakfast, for the human half of the family, was supposed to be apple fritter bread from the local Wal-Mart.

Half of us got some, anyway. When I went to take #2 son to school, I pushed it to the very back of the stove, out of dog range.

Or so I thought.

The dog was nowhere in sight. He’d stayed in the living room, all morning, in his favorite corner, and had not even bothered to get up and watch us eat. I figured the bread was safe for the 20 or so minutes I was going to be gone.

I needed even less time then that, actually. When we were a mile or two from the house, I passed my husband’s car. He was on the way back from working out, and planning to work from home.

So the kitchen was unattended for 5 minutes, tops.

By the time I got back home, the bread was exactly where I’d left it, at the back of the stove. Missing two neat slices off the end from our breakfast, and an enormous chunk out of the side of the loaf.

I asked my husband about it.

He said he thought I’d left it too far to the front of the stove, and had pushed it back.

Less than five minutes to get into the kitchen, find the food, work the loaf to the front of the stove, eat, and get back into the living room, where he could be found, acting nonchalant.

I asked the dog about it.

He pleaded ignorance. Gave me the usual, slightly puzzled, cross-eyed retriever look. He’d been in the living room the whole time. Swear to God.

Licking crumbs off his face and trying to get the apple smell off his breath.

I picked up the loaf and waved it in the air, trying to decide if there was anything left worth saving.

He watched closely, in case anything fell off and hit the floor.

I mean, really. It’s a shame to waste. And if you cut around the big hole in the side, there’s still quite a bit of loaf, left. Except… what’s this, stuck to the good side of the loaf? A long, wavy blond hair? How many natural blonds do we have in a house full of brunettes, huh Kaiju?

I had to throw the bread away, and the dog is still trying to convince me that it might have been the cat.