14. I’m Starving!

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October 23, 2012 by bdetienne

When I got married recently I inherited two dogs. I love dogs and grew up most of my childhood with one so it was no trouble for me to adopt them as my own. They are quite different- one is a wire hair fox terrier who is independent and strong-willed but wants to be everyone’s friend while the other is a labradoodle-sheepdog mix who needs to know what is going on at all times and is very territorial but also obedient. As contrasting as they can be though, they share a characteristic common in the canine world- a love of food (or anything they think is food). And they way they digest it.

The regimen at our house is to feed the dogs twice a day, once for breakfast and the other at lunch time. Here is how the daily process goes: in the morning the terrier, who sleeps on the bed, will have that moment when he is hungry and/or needs to pee and/or thinks its morning and it’s time to get up and proceeds to wake my wife and I up with a combination of whines and scratches. Once he starts making noise the labradoodle (who is caged downstairs) starts whimpering and one of us will “volunteer” to get up to feed them.

After letting the labradoodle out of her cage, the volunteer will head to the kitchen. The dogs will proceed the volunteer and gather themselves in the “assigned area”- the vicinity of the cabinet where the food is stored. An excitement begins to grow as the volunteer opens the door and accesses the food storage (even though you can’t see them, you can hear them moving around, bouncing up and down on their front legs and feel the breath of the labradoodle on the back of your head in anticipation of the reward coming). The volunteer will then fill the respective dog bowls, and if dogs could talk I swear these two would be saying, “What it taking so long? Where is my food? I’m starving!”

Finally, the volunteer places the food on the ground and the race is on. It is not a nice gentle consumption of the food, taking time to chew the food into little pieces for easier digestion. It is a ravenous feast in which the dogs almost literally inhale the food, acting as if they have not eaten in days (when in actuality it’s been several hours, most of which were sleeping, but dogs have no concept of time). I say almost literally, because you can hear 5% of the food being chewed, but a majority of that food is sucked up like a Dyson and sent straight to the stomach. In less than a minute, the bowls are empty and the dogs are (temporarily) satisfied.

If you are a dog owner you have likely been witness to this phenomenon. If you have not, the closest thing I can compare it to is a hot dog eating contest. You hardly stop to breathe as you incessantly fill your mouth with the dog and the bun. It’s pretty funny to watch, and the dogs put on a daily show for you.

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