Seriously, I really do.
For the last two days, Bernie and Chris didn’t attack the front door after their exercise to rush to the food bowl. Instead, they merely ambled to the bedroom and lay down.
That’s all they did. And that is unusual for them. I’ve had these dogs for more than five years, and that is not their normal practice.
I’m not helping matters either. Here’s what I mean.
It’s been on my mind for about two weeks. Bernie is getting fat. This is a concern for me. He weighs close to ninety pounds. He’s a Goldendoodle and about six years old.
Yes, he’s a big dog. Big dogs tend to have back, leg and other bone problems as they age. It’s one of the reasons large dogs don’t live as long as smaller dogs.
Anyway, with that concern, this morning I decided to alter his diet and at the same time do something about Chris. You see, Chris is a poodle, and poodles can be picky eaters.
Bernie wolfs everything in sight. Bernie wolfs, Chris picks.
With that dog food eating analysis, I prepared this morning’s meal by loading Bernie’s bowl with almost a full can of cut green beans and more than two tablespoons of chopped carrots and another couple tablespoons of chopped red bell peppers.
To lure their sensitive nose, I tossed in a heaping tablespoon of meaty canned food in the pan of water. Two tablespoons of the meaty stuff plopped into each dog’s bowl.
Once the flavored brewed water boiled, I carefully measured a cup of dry kibble into the pan.
A large measuring cup allowed me to ensure Chris got about one-third of what Bernie got.
In other words, I took a lot of care to portion Bernie’s meal. Piling on the veggies, especially the green beans, will fill his belly and result in reducing his weight. The vet told me that.
Now that you understand all that meal preparation I went through… and why… Here’s what happened this morning.
It wasn’t a surprise when the dogs continued to follow the new habit. They waited at the front door. Once opened, they scooted in and headed for the bedroom.
After putting the car keys on the table, I headed for the office. As I passed the bedroom, a quick glance confirmed both dogs were already comfortably stretched out.
I turned around and went back to the kitchen to prepare their meal. You already know about that laborious task.
Here’s what happened.
I am working on the computer for about twenty minutes, and Chris comes and nudges my elbow. No sign of Bernie.
Oh yeah, Chris has his food bowl in the bedroom. Bernie’s food bowl is about five feet from me in the office.
Both dogs watched me bring Chris’s food bowl in the bedroom. Yesterday, when that happened, Bernie immediately got up and went to the office to start eating from his bowl.
But not today. Both dogs watched me leave the room.
So now, here is Chris nudging my elbow. I pat him and watch him. Has he eaten his food? Where is Bernie?
Interesting. Chris walks away. He did glance at Bernie’s bowl but didn’t go near it.
Turning back to the computer, about the time my eyes find my place on the monitor, Chris is back, and this time he goes directly to Bernie’s bowl and starts eating.
Okay. There is at least twice the food in the bowl. Chris picks at the food until he is satisfied and then leaves. There is more than enough food left for Bernie.
Here’s the upshot. About twenty minutes later Bernie finally comes in and polishes off all the food in the bowl. Then he leaves, and within a few minutes, I head the usual noises Bernie makes as he attacks Chris’s bowl.
When Bernie is finished with both his and Chris’s food bowls, both are mirror-finished clean.
Will my portion-control program work? It’s a lot of work.
That’s why I’m slowly going crazy.