Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm not Eating That Piece

Raleigh does a very wierd thing with his food.

Being the sissy that he is he has to have a special diet. He eats a high-quality dry dog food that we buy from the pet store (whose name I will not mention unless they want to pay for an endorsement).

It is Raleigh's fervent beleif that he should eat what Perry and I eat. He waits with polite solemnity while we dine. Nine times out of ten, when we have fineshed eating, I put a spoonful of whatever we ate on top of his dry food. I don't ever give him more than a spoonful. I have learned from experience, if I let him gorge on people-food he spends the next twelve hours cutting farts that are bad enough to clear a dance floor.

Okay, I lied.

I don't wait until we finesh eating. I settle in my chair comfortably, take two bites from my delicious homecooked dinner and then, as if my head were a marionette and my dog controlled the string, my attention is drawn to Raleigh lying on the floor across the room.

Raleigh has perfected a look that says 'that's alright, carry on, eat your dinner. I'll just lie over here alone and hungry.'

The stern command of the owner-trainer rings in my memory, 'always finish your dinner before you feed the dog. It will make him respect you.'

But, but....I am powerless over that look!

'Oh alright!' I say. Perry rolls his eyes.

In an attempt to win back some of the respect I am loosing I order Raleigh to 'come' and 'sit' next to his food bowl, which he does, perfectly. The bowl is full because he never eats more than a quarter of his breakfast. I dribble onto his dry food a spoonful of chicken skin or soup broth or grilled talapia, or whatever we're having that night. I make him 'stay' until I am seated back at the table.

'Okay!' I tell him.

He pauses for a moment (it's a pride thing, he never wants to seem too eager). He carefully eats two bites.

Then - and this is the weird part - he picks up one kibble and places it on the floor next to him.

Then - in perfect standard poodle fashion - he lays down, curls one foot under and - with great civility - he eats the rest of his dinner.

"What is up with that one kibble deposited on the floor?" I ask Perry.

"I don't know," he says, "but he does it every time."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cats on the Patio!

Cool autumn weather, beach-side patio and live music! The perfect opportunity for the three of us to spend some time together. Perry loves live music and Raleigh and I love to go anywhere dogs are welcome.

When we walked onto the patio everyone turned to look at Raleigh. They do that, because he's a good-looking dog, but I blushed. Why? Because I’m shy! I remind myself, they’re not looking at me; they’re looking at Raleigh.

Raleigh is the quintessential urbane dog; he loves to go to restaurants. Usually he walks among tables with the aloof air of canine royalty.

The three of us walked onto the patio. We spied the table we wanted
and began navigating our way down the isle.

Suddenly, Raleigh lunged and barked! People who were already looking at us gasped in alarm. People who weren't looking turned to look!

Cats! Raleigh had spied three cats! Right there in the middle of the patio. They apparently make their living begging shrimp tails off of kindly patrons. When they heard Raleigh they dove into the crawlspace under the restaurant like they were sucked under there by a vacuum cleaner.

He’s a well trained dog but he’s not trained well enough to override his deep biological need to chase kitties.

At 75 pounds he is difficult to control when he lunges and LOUD when he barks!

I was mortified. But Raleigh is no match for Perry and a pinch collar. He all but manhandled him to our little table at the far edge of the patio.

Perry sent Raleigh under table. Everyone was still looking! I wanted to crawl under there with him.

What is it about cats and dogs? I recently read something fascinating on this topic.