Our dear doggie broke my heart this morning. Reduced me right down to a puddle of tears he did. You see, we had a different dog when this one came to live here. Since he was quite frisky and also quite full of himself, we did what we could to remind him that she was here first and he should mind his manners.
One such routine was that we would always fill Bekka’s food dish first. His was around the corner, and he would have to wait for the second scoop. That went on twice a day for probably five years, during the time we had them both. Until last summer when we lost Bekka in a very sad and complicated way.
Our new normal was one dog, one scoop. For the first few days the remaining dog hesitated at first. But it was his dish, in his spot. No other dogs around. He decided it was OK to eat.
Time went along, and all three of us got used to the new routine of being a one dog household. I never expected quite that depth of adjustment, but there was a lot of it. Bedtime was different, leaving the house was different, having company over was different. Years’ worth of adaptations you never realized you’d made to your life — until you find that you don’t need them any more.
A few days ago, I just got tired of having the dog’s dishes more-or-less in the walkway. (He was an add-on dog, remember. We fit him in where we could.) It’s been over 6 months since we lost the other one. I asked my husband if he thought the dog would be OK moving his dishes around the corner out of the way. He agreed it was time. I slid the dishes around the corner and didn’t think much about it. That is, until I fed him this morning.
Our always-hungry, totally food-motivated dog just watched me. When I put food in his dish, he followed me back to the bin. It was then I realized — he was waiting for the second scoop. Evidently nearly 400 solo feedings later, that is still Bekka’s spot. And I’m sorry buddy, she isn’t coming back. But your dishes can stay right where they’ve been since you came here. Now we understand, that’s still her spot.
(c) 2018, J. L. Cools