Tuesday, August 01, 2006


No Supper

Little dog is very old. Her once large bright eyes are now rather diminished in size. I am mindful that she may not live much longer. She is the best little dog. Hub and I love her dearly. She hasn’t got an aggressive bone in her body and she never barks at people, even strangers.

Generally before dinner you will find Old Dog in her favorite spot behind the easy chair. That is where she is when I call her for her daily meal. But for three nights now, I have called her for supper but she wouldn’t come. The first night when she didn’t come, I relented and put her bowl on the rug behind the easy chair and that’s where she ate it. The next night, not wanting this to become a habit, I refused to do that. Instead I went to the livingroom, showed her the bowl, encouraged her to smell it (it even had fresh-cooked hamburger in it), but still she refused to come to her usual spot in the kitchen to eat. So no dinner that night. I covered her dish with Saran-wrap and put it in the fridge.

Meanwhile I put my other dog’s dish out on the deck as I always do. Dough-Gee is a weird dog. He does not eat when I feed him, he eats when he thinks it is time to eat. So often his supper is put out on the deck, and when he doesn’t eat it, I put it up (rather then leave it on the deck where birds can steal it, and insects walk about in it). Later I will set it out again and eventually he will eat it, but in his own good time.

So last night I put out his dinner and went to check about ten minutes later to see if he had eaten. He hadn’t touched it but there was Old Dog, about to start scoffing down Dough-Gee’s food. I only asked, I didn’t yell,

“Old Dog, what are you doing?”

Old Dog ripped her head out of Dough-Gee’s dish and dived under the deck like a dog that is regularly beaten. She hadn’t time to eat anything so later when she was resting behind the easy chair I tried to get her to come to the kitchen and eat but she would not move.

This morning, Old Dog sat by my feet and looked at me dolefully and I knew the message was, “I’m hungry”. So I offered her the food I prepared the night before. I was cleaning the kitchen floor so I put her dish out on the deck. She fell to eating, but so slowly, so half-heartedly. I looked out the window. I saw her little dog face, drooping with dejection, with those sensitive tears in her eyes, as she slowly ate and reviewed the events of the previous night. “Last night I had to go to bed without my supper. She wouldn’t let me eat. She must not love me anymore. What did I do to be treated like that?”

Yeh, I can see she’s hurting, but meanwhile I’m hurting too. Thinking to myself. ‘This sappy way of thinking, this animal-softness bullshit has got to stop.’


Anonymous Scotia said...

Never. Don't harden your heart. It's not "animal softenss bullshit" by any means... it's empathy for another living creature.

I hate when a pet gets old or ill, and finally moves on. I cry and cry and cry... every time. :(

10:11 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

scotia, thanks for stopping in. Your comment is appreciated and you are right. I guess I'll stick to the softer side when it comes to my critters. Truth is, even if I wanted to be less concerned, my animals have been too loyal for too long for me to change now.

10:46 PM  

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