And so it has come to this: We are battling a beast that cannot be stopped.
She is always hungry. I can’t figure out why. She gets plenty of food. Stroganoff and hamburgers; pancakes and bacon; even steak from time to time. But it’s never enough. She usually rejects vegetables but, on occasion, will eat a carrot or a banana or an apple (the last two aren’t vegetables, I know).
Her hunger wasn’t always a problem. In fact, at first it was pretty dang cute. “Aww, honey, look! She’s taking food off my plate. What a little rascal!” Then it became moderately annoying. “Ugh! Stop eating my food when I’m not looking!” And now, well now it’s just completely irritating. “Stop taking food from me and my babies!”
That’s right, the insatiable beast among us is our 10-year-old chocolate labrador retriever. Before the children were born, she was pretty well-mannered. She stayed off the furniture. She didn’t beg too much. She only ate one of my textbooks in college. (It was an agricultural economics textbook, so I’m sure it was pretty dry.) But since her world was invaded by two little people who have knocked her down the pecking order in our pack, she seems to have become a little ornery.
The dog’s #1 target for food stealing is our 3-year-old. When the kid turns her back on a plate for more than about 15 seconds, the dog is on it. She’s not even sneaky about it anymore. She just walks over, eats what she wants and walks away as if to say, “Up yours, kiddo. What are you gonna do about it? Not a damn thing. You know it, I know it, and that guy with the beard knows it.” I’m sure she would steal from the 1-year-old, too, if he wasn’t always sitting in a high chair to eat. In fact, as soon as he’s out of the chair, she’s there to devour any morsels that he left behind in his seat.
In fairness, it could just be age. I’m sure there’s a point in every living being’s life where he or she thinks, Screw it. I’m old. I’m doing whatever the hell I want until they put my ass in the ground. She is the equivalent of 70 people years old, after all. I’m 34 and I’m pretty sure once I turn 36 I’ll adopt that attitude, so as far as that goes, she’s aged pretty nobly.
Don’t kid yourself, friend — if your dog ever got the chance, she’d eat your food and the food of everyone you care about!*