Monday, September 12, 2016

The Path to Goodness

It has taken us a while to settle into our new place as far as our food bowls are concerned.  When we first arrived in our new home, our belongings weren't here so it was just us, our crates, and our food bowls.  There was plenty of room for us to spread out, eat, and not bother each other.  Then the furniture arrived and chaos ensued.

You might remember how we ate in our old house.  Dixie and Hunter ate side by side on the raised platform Daddy had constructed for Hunter when he was a puppy.  

I had to eat in my crate . . .

Am I pitiful looking or what?  I started out here because our breeder suggested this might be best when I was first introduced on the scene.  Then my appetite reared its beautiful head and this became my mealtime view forevermore apparently!

After Hunter passed away, Mommy tried to move me over to stand beside Dixie.  I have to admit, my appetite got the best of me and I got the best of Dixie's food!  Back to my crate I went.

When our furniture arrived at the new house, Mommy placed the raised platform in one corner of the kitchen behind the table.  She knew better than to put my food bowl there, but she placed Dixie's bowl and the water bowl we share on the platform. My bowl went onto the edge of the carpet in the den several feet away.  It was fine for a couple days and then Dixie started feeling a bit territorial.

The problem is that I like to drink water as soon as I finish my meal.  Dixie started growling at me when I approached the water bowl because she was still eating her food at her leisurely pace. I don't really know the meaning of the word leisurely, but Mommy tells me it's the opposite of how I like to enjoy my food.

Mommy resorted to putting us both in our crates during meal time, but that still didn't quite solve the problem.  If Dixie was released first, then she waited on me to be released and cornered me with her teeth bared.  If I was released first, I felt the need to assert my presence and growled as I walked by Dixie's crate.  Dixie then came charging after me when she was released.  This went on until we had a rumble in the den.  The fur went flying (literally) and we knocked one of Daddy's favorite decoys off the coffee table breaking its bill.  Mommy was screaming and yelling and trying to pull us apart.  It wasn't pretty!

Mommy says she feels confident in saying she now has our meal time under control.  I guess it works, but I don't like it!  Here's how we proceed twice a day:

1) The raised platform is history.  Although good for big dawgs to help them out when eating, it can also be a cause of bloat.  Since Hunter passed away from bloat, we deemed it unnecessary in the new house.  So, out with the old!

2) Our water bowl remains in its original position behind the kitchen table out of the way.  Mommy tells me this is especially great for me.  I've been told I slop water all over the place when I drink and make quite a mess.  I'm not sure what she's talking about.

3) Dixie's food bowl is right beside the back door and away from the water bowl.  As soon as she finishes her food, Mommy opens the door for Dixie to go potty.

4) My food bowl is, you guessed it, back in its original position too.  In my crate!  As soon as Dixie finishes eating, Mommy comes to release me.  I can then drink my fill and sniff out Dixie's empty bowl without feeling (or being) threatened.

The biggest problem for me is that it's a long, winding path to my food!  I have to dodge furniture and take corners quickly to beat Mommy to my crate.  I want to be ready and waiting by the time she sets my bowl in place.

Although this twice daily routine is time consuming for me and Mommy, I think it's here to stay.  After all, no dawgs are injured during feeding any more!  [sigh]


PS:  I can safely say (as my human cousins frequently do), "She started it!"

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