please sir, I want some more

please sir, I want some more

E

ven by the most indulgent interpretation of the standards, we’ve been over-feeding the puppy.

Overall, she looks good, the vet told us—maybe a little rounder than I like to see, but good. And you can feed her as much as you think is appropriate right now, she went on, but you should know that the more you feed her at this age the more she’s going to grow. But maybe a 120-pound dog is something you’re interested in?

Let me assure you, gentle readers, it is not something we are interested in, and so we immediately changed both the amount of food our girl Friday was receiving and the frequency with which she was receiving it. She has tried ever-so-hard to be a good sport about her new dietary regimen but she is only a dog and so she can be little else but honest about her feelings regarding portion control.

When a bowl is offered up to her, she consumes the chintzy contents as she had not seen food for three weeks as opposed to just three hours. She is like a fuzzy piranha, all tiny teeth, lunging face-first to the very bottom of the bowl. We cannot feed our adult dog in her presence; she will try to eat his food. And last night, in an audacious bid for seconds, she stood up on a low table and stole the piece of olive bread off the top of Scott’s sandwich when his back was turned. It was very naughty, this brazen theft, the act of a desperate soul.

But the puppy thinks she is hungry because, well, she is, though not because her nutritional needs aren’t being met. She was accustomed to so much more, you understand. The difference between what used to be in her bowl and what’s there now must seem a stark comparison even to a 10-week-old dog.

I have to say that I find myself a little jealous of Friday the puppy, though, but not because of the food thing. I like to eat (always have, just ask my Mama) but over-indulging in food has never been a particular peccadillo of mine. What I have is an issue with limits, when to know that the time has arrived to say “That’ll do, thanks all the same,” to people and then say those very words. Maybe because I’m Southern, maybe because I’m a woman, maybe just because, setting boundaries is challenging for me.

My dog is in the fortunate position of having us to decide what’s good for her and then to just do it. On my lazier days, I just wish I didn’t have the same set of responsibilities for myself that I do for her.