My chocolate lab, we’ll call him Bear and we’ll call him that because it’s his name and he’s really not bright enough to go with an alias. But Bear’s IQ aside, he’s a pretty terrific dog and I love him a lot. That is until he goes on his binge eating.
For whatever reason, Bear is a binge eater. I feed him and his girlfriend good dog food every morning. They either eat it or they don’t and never do they empty their doggie dish. They are not gluttonous in this regard. They will only eat a little of the dog food and save the rest for throughout the day.
But Bear binges. And he binges big time.
Friday, while I was out with friends and my adorable husband had my adorable daughter at softball practice, Bear ate a five pound bag of fish food. Yes, a five pound bag of fish food. You might be wondering at this point, ‘who the hell has a five pound bag of fish food?’ And the answer is: me. I’ve got half a million fish in my pond and we buy the crap in bulk.
And now my dog has an appetite for fish food. Great. Upgrade me to auto-delivery.
I got a text about 10 o’clock last night from my husband. You’re f*&^%ing dog ate the fish food. He added an unhappy face so I knew this was serious. I responded that the dog was ridiculous. And I noted that just like any time the children displease him, they belong to me. If the text was about the dog winning the field trails, it would have been his dog. When my daughter wins the Nobel Peace Prize, he’ll finally acknowledge her. Until then, she’s mine. That’s okay, I take my lumps. The children and the animals like me better anyhow.
So now Bear’s belly is full of fish food. And I’m wondering; what the hell is in fish food and is it something I need to worry about. When I get home later that evening, I examine him. He seems fine. He’s glad to see me and his belly is only slightly distended. Amazingly, he has no gas. If you’ve ever smelled pond fish food, you’d know that this is a good thing. That shit is rank in its intended form. You put it in the digestive system of a Labrador and we’re talking about WMD’s. But there’s no gas. Maybe I’ll feed him a steady diet of fish food.
Our first clue that something was not right was this morning. We left him out and he happily began his morning ritual of peeing and then pooping. We had him de-masculated at an early age to he rarely lifts his leg. It’s really comical watching him. And then he begins the poop ritual.
This dog has shit in every corner of our backyard yet he inspects every square inch of it like it’s his first trip there. He’s got to find the right spot to make his morning BM. He goes past the places that were good enough yesterday morning to find the perfect spot for this morning. It’s a quest and he’s just a LARPER on the journey of a life time.
This morning his routine is boring and once he’s found the greatest spot ever in which to poop, I lose interest and go back into the kitchen. I’m at the back door again about five minutes later expecting to see him on the front porch surveying the property or barking at the neighbor’s rabbits. Instead I find him in the same spot, in the same position. Hmmmm, fish food?
And his normal pooping pose is rather comical. He’s a big boy, a little over a 100 pounds, and he hunches his body up and sticks his tail straight out like he’s being scored on form and pose. Sometimes he looks over his big shoulder at me and gives me a humorous shrug. Kinda like he’s saying ‘yep Mum, I’m pooping.’ Then he goes back to concentrating on the big morning constitutional.
Today’s different and I feel a nervous tension come over me. Damn fish food.
Bear doesn’t seem to be pooping. He’s doing everything right. He’s in the back yard; he’s in the position and he’s given me the comical apologetic look. But nothing is coming. Literally. Maybe it’s not the ultimate pooping spot. He duck walks, still partly in position, to a new spot. He tries. He looks back at me with a quizzical look on his face. I offer reassuring words: ‘you can do it!’ Nothing. New spot, same position, look, encouragement offered. No shit. Repeat. This goes on for close to ten minutes. My husband joins me and begins to mock the dog.
‘Bet you won’t eat fish food again, will you – you dumb bastard.’
The dog shrugs. If the binge urge comes upon him, he’ll eat fish food. Hell, he’ll eat the bag it comes in.
This scenario plays out all day. He poops enough that I’m not thinking he needs to see a vet. He believes he needs to poop more. He tries, I offer words of encouragement.
But finally my favorite part of the day comes and we need to get out of the house. My wonderful husband has offered to take me to the local coffee and soda shop for a treat. I’m anxious to go and Bear is still outside working out the after affects of his bingeing.
Damian encourages him to come inside. “Get in here you dumb bastard.’ I’ve come to believe it’s a term of endearment. He assures me it is not.
We leave for the Chatterbox for a treat with the daughter. Fifteen minutes later I receive an angry call from Son #2 that Bear has shit in the hallway and he’s had to clean it up. For his trouble, I owe him a strawberry milkshake. I never guessed the wages for cleaning up dog poop were so high. Is this a union job?
When we get home and pay Son #2 salary in milkshake; we put Bear out again. He assumes the position and this time I think we have success. His belly looks a little less swollen and he is peacefully sleeping under the dining room table. Again all is right in our little world.
Until the next time Bear binges.