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The cut-short life of an ice cube

Years ago, when someone was mentioning the name “Labrador retriever”, I had in my mind a picture of kind of a fat black dog,  gentle, but not too smart. Hope the mutts are going to miss that part or I am going to hear about it forever!  OK, they can be fat if you don’t pay attention, or if you confuse love with food!

You see, BL (“Before Labs”),  I never had a dog obsessed with food. Douchka, my German shepherd never even finished her breakfast or dinner ever. OK, she was crazy about chicken, and you had to watch out, but otherwise food was not her main interest. My daughters were! Pouchie, our Golden Retriever, our GentleDog was the same way. He always would pick snuggling against food, but my mutts! Don’t even mention the word “food” in the house, or “cookie”, or whatever sounds like food.

In the morning, when they are ready to be fed, the trash can is open, the bag of food inside the trash can is unzipped and most of the time if I turn my back one second, you can add to that picture, a black head totally buried in the trash can. Sometimes it’s harder when the bag is half empty, but he tries anyway! This is Jackson, my free spirited dog.  I have to call him something, and free spirited sounds so much better than thief! Or pig! And he is a free spirited dog, believe me! He loves me to death but doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions. Jackson is a proper representation of the young generation: he wants it now! He doesn’t want to think about it and maybe drool a bit anticipating his food or his mid-day treats. Instant gratification, that’s what he is all about! So many times, while we are having dinner, I can hear him in the kitchen, then crossing the dining room with his head looking at the wall for me not to see what he is holding,  jumping over the gate I put to keep the family room dogs free, and go there to enjoy by himself – he is a very independent one! – the pretty of the moment, whatever he could have managed to steal!

So, to go back to my sheep as we say in French, I am careful with food! No treats from pet stores which might be subject to recall the minute they ingest it. We go natural and organic in this house! I don’t know if you read the labels of dog treats, but whatever it is, you can bet that they are adding sugar to it!

In summer, I used to give them those little dog ice-creams. Forget it! I don’t know if they get brain freeze by swallowing the whole thing including the container in one second, but watching them, my brain is the one in pain. So from dog’s ice creams, I went to fat free chicken broth ice cubes! Refreshing, no calories and small enough not to create a deep freeze of their brains! Amazingly, they don’t swallow it, but that’s basically the only thing I see them enjoying, crushing the icy stuff gently, I mean as gently as they can be!

And then, there is Sammie! Sammie is the alpha of the bunch, and also a fierce 18 lbs – on good days! – Cairn terrier! Sammie was raised by my German shepherd who instilled in him all her bad habits. One of them was to keep her treat or her bone between her front legs without even touching it, while the labs devoured theirs! When they were done, then, she would start chewing a bit on it, then letting it go, and napping for a few minutes. But beware! If anyone was getting too close, she was all teeth out! After a while, the labs knew better and kept drooling looking at Douchka’s treat, trying maybe to do some levitation exercises unsuccessfully, but that was it! Sammie is the same! Yesterday, he got his ice cube, and did, as usual, his Douchka’s thing: keeping preciously the ice cube between his front legs, then napping a bit, but by then, the ice cube had melted, and his face was precious! Do not ever tell me that dogs can’t be expressive. Sammie’s face went from surprise to anger. He suspiciously looked at the mutts, then started to circle the spot where the icenapping happened, sniffing, not noticing the little puddle of broth on the floor.

My girlfriend accused me of being cruel! I was not! He learned a lesson yesterday: enjoy the moment! I mean, I hope he did, but we got a lot of sulking around the house that day! No, I did not stay cruel! I offered him another ice cube that he snubbed and left melting just there, and he left without another look at it.

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