Alternate title: So Much for the Totem Pole (#MultiPetMania)
Feeding my three chow-hounds can be challenging at times.
Even though I’m retired and don’t have to rush around the house in the morning getting ready for work, I do have time constraints at times. I try to get the girls fed before we eat so they don’t beg and whine at us while we’re eating. (There are two things I hate while I’m eating: having the dogs right at our feet begging for some of our food, and having hubby encourage the begging by sneaking them a bite of his food. — In his defense, though, he’s been really good about not doing it since before we got Ducky’s IBD diagnosis.). Let us not forget that there are three different personalities at play here…
First there’s Callie. You would think by looking at her that she would be satisfied with her meals and occasional treats. She’s at an ideal weight for a dog of her age and activity level. But every now and then, she decides she wants more. Or, maybe she just wants to make sure Shadow didn’t get more food or different food. Either way, there are times when she does not show any respect for Shadow’s personal space; and I have to divert her attention elsewhere. (Like back to her own bowl to finish her own food.)
Then there’s my sweet Shadow. Shadow has always been very respectful of Callie’s space. And of Callie’s seniority status. To the point where unless she is extremely hungry, she will wait for Callie to start eating before approaching her own bowl. Maybe she learned that from her biological mother, I don’t know. She certainly didn’t learn it from watching Callie.
But, because she is so respectful of Callie, she demands the same respect in return. And rightfully so. The first time I saw my two girls in a bitey-face brawl (when normally they shared everything quite nicely) it was quite a shock and a bit scary. When it dawned on me what was going on, circumventing it became a matter of watching their body language. Now, I can spot trouble before it starts and 99% of the time I’m successful at keeping things calm and quiet at meal time.
Of course there’s always one in the group who has to stir the pot at every opportunity. Yup, I’m talking about my little brat dog, Ducky. I still have to take away the opportunity at times.
So, I feed the big girls first and then I feed Ducky. Whether she gets the connection between being fed last and being low dog on the totem pole is highly questionable. But then again, considering she is constantly trying to usurp Shadow’s seniority over her own, maybe she does get it. Ah, sibling rivalry. 😝
Then there’s treat time. Oh. My. Dogs! Sometimes I feel like I need a clone, or a robot. Whatever form it would take, I need a third hand at times.
Thankfully, now that Callie and Shadow are seniors, they’re getting more like me. If I have to get up from my nice, comfy chair — in their case, a cozy dog bed or the couch — to get a treat or snack, I’ll just wait until it either comes to me (thanks, Dear!) or I have to get up for some other reason. Callie and Shadow will usually wait for it to come to them. It’s those times when they don’t want to wait that get a little challenging.
Luckily, Callie and Shadow have learned over the years that Mom will always give them identical treats so they don’t have to argue over who got the bigger, better piece. Or who’s Mom’s favorite of the two.
And then there’s Ducky. Ducky’s ego tells her “what’s everyone else’s is mine and what’s mine is my own”. And you thought dogs didn’t have egos. Ha! Watch Ducky interact with her sisters, her daddy, and me for as little as five minutes and you’ll be convinced otherwise.
I have found that the easiest way to keep peace among the furry siblings is to give Ducky her treat first. Then, I give the big girls their treats at the same time while Ducky’s distracted by her own treat. Oh well, so much for the totem pole. 😏
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…