Chapter Two: Food That Isn’t Intended for Me Tastes Yummier
I have always had a special relationship with food. I will eat almost anything, but meat is my favourite. I’ve taken freshly fried duck off the kitchen counter and stuck my nose in raw chicken, prawns and wallaby meat. I even nibbled at a bit of quinoa salad, but I discovered it wasn’t for me. Melbourne hipster dog though I am, my dingo heritage means I gag at green juices, tremble at tofu and I’m not keen for quinoa.
Sidenote: If you can think of any more of these hipster-themed phrases with alliteration, please tweet me.
In my career in eating, I have concluded a couple of things:
- If it’s on the floor, it’s mine
- If it’s not on the floor, it’s mine when none of the humans are looking
- Food that isn’t intended for me tastes yummier
I think that last one applies to humans as well.
The food that is intended for me is kept in the cupboard under the sink in a big, blue bag. The Magic Bag. It’s always filled with food and I know if I could just get my little kelpie-whippet paws on it I gorge on kibble for hours and hours. Unfortunately, the cupboard door is rarely left open, and when it is, I have more luck nibbling on whatever’s in the bin than attempting to break open the Magic Bag. Thankfully, I’ve managed to train my owners to say “dinner” whenever they are about to feed me. This has proven to be quite useful, as I can now supervise them while they measure out my food portion and make sure they’re not being too stingy or too generous. I need enough energy to be the fastest runner in the dog park every time I go. And on the other hand, you don’t get to be the fastest runner in the dog park by eating two heaped cups of food a day.
When I first arrived at the Rice household, I ate my food from a silver bowl in roughly fifteen seconds. Since then, the most boring vet in the world told my owners that it’s bad for me and now I’m not allowed to eat out of my silver bowl anymore. Eating in fifteen seconds flat has now been obstructed by … the Kong.
Sidenote: Please read “the Kong” like the little aliens in Toy Story say “the claw”. I guarantee it will add to the experience of reading.
For those of you who don’t know what the Kong is, it’s an almost-chew-proof plastic capsule that holds food or treats. It usually has one or two little openings in it, out of which I must get the aforementioned food or treats. It’s very similar to those food puzzles they give monkeys at the zoo – only I don’t have a bunch of strangers watch me in a glass enclosure. Instead, it’s just the Rices and sometimes Angourie’s friends on snapchat. The Kong that I use for my breakfast and dinner is bright red and shaped like a very fat snowman. It has heavy sand in a compartment at the bottom so it bounces back upright when I hit it with my paw, and one small hole in the side just big enough for the kibble to come out of. For humans, this contraption is a fairly poor way of making them work for their dinner – they only have to pick it up and shake it at the right angle for food to come pouring out of it. They think they’re so clever with their opposable thumbs. It’s a lot more difficult for me. I have to constantly knock over, roll around and paw at the Kong for me to get to my kibble. As annoying at this is, it means I only eat when I’m hungry, and I no longer snack when I’m bored (something I’ve seen Angourie do frequently).
My favourite treat at the moment is my antler. Yes, you read that correctly – antler. My humans are all about saving the animals and such, and the antlers are ethically sourced from deer. Unlike normal dog bones (not bones of dogs, bones for dogs), the animal does not have to die in order for me to get my treat. After the deer shed the antlers, they (the antlers, not the deer) are collected, cut up and distributed to lucky pooches like myself and my whippet neighbour Charlie (there will be a chapter on him later). There is simply no other way to put it: I LOVE MY ANTLER. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. I take into the garden and on the trampoline, but Angourie puts her foot down when I bring it onto her bed. I can’t understand why, it smells delicious. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in a bed that smells like deer antler and dog saliva?
My other treat is little squares of kangaroo meat. Unlike my antler, I do not get this treat whenever I please. I only get it in exchange for doing something for my humans, which I like, especially if it means I get attention and treats. Although sometimes doing the trick isn’t worth the treat if I find something more interesting to pay attention to. This includes (but is not limited to): passers-by, other dogs, bicycles, birds, infants in prams, cats, dropped ice-creams, bells, loud noises, long grass and the call of the wild. However, when there’s nothing better to do, I will sit, drop and stand for treats – any other tricks are too embarrassing. I don’t understand how other dogs roll-over, dance or play dead for their humans. I find it so demeaning. It may be a dog eat dog world, but this bitch will keep her dignity.