Either we’re crazy or we deserve an award for being so dedicated to this hard headed, demanding little dog.
After the vet in Abilene kinda scolding me for making Rita’s dog food, then the MO vet being so enthusiastic about the homemade dog food, I was 100% committed to making her food . . except . . life is just crazy right now and I sometimes feel like I’m doing good to keep the humans fed around here.
When I got back from MO last week, Vince said “I think Rita is out of dog food.” The last thing I had time to do was make dog food so I took what little bit of homemade food was left and over the next several days, mixed it with the storebought food we sometimes give her but by about Day 4, she was having tummy problems again.
During the time I thought she was ok with the storebought dog food, I packed up all the storebought canned chicken! Then when we decided she has to have homemade food, there was not a single can of chicken to be found in this house. Vince went to the store on Friday. I made a list for him. I forgot to put chicken on it. Darn it. I called his cell phone to ask him to get the chicken, knowing there was a 100% chance he didn’t have his phone with him, nor did he have a clue where his phone was located. It went straight to voice mail so when he got home, we had a phone search party and I’ve threatened to super glue the phone to his body!
He said he would go back to the store but I said no . . I can use some of the chicken I canned for us but that has a bit of salt in it so I decided to take a package of chicken breasts out of the freezer, throw it, still frozen, into the pressure cooker and make her some food. I used cooked brown rice, frozen peas and carrots, eggs, calcium (in the form of cooked, ground egg shells), ground flax seed, a bit of grated ginger and the shredded cooked chicken breasts.
She absolutely loves that stuff. We cannot say the word “eat” or “food” around her and I never remember. What time do you want to eat? What do you want to eat for dinner? Today, I said Do you want to take stuff to make sandwiches so we don’t have to eat fast food when we go back to MO? That was enough . . she went running into the kitchen. When no one comes in to feed her, she starts making noise with her bowl. When that doesn’t get results, she comes back into the living room and starts barking at us.
My feeling is that we should not reward bad behavior, whether it’s a dog, a granddaughter . . whomever. Vince’s feeling is . . she must be hungry or she wouldn’t be doing this. I feed her twice a day . . that’s the schedule I like. If I do it at the same time each day, I know about when she needs to go outside and life is easier for both of us. But Vince thinks every time she goes in the kitchen and starts pushing that bowl around, she NEEDS food. Yesterday, I believe she ate 5 or 6 times. We’ve learned that we can give her 1/2 teaspoon of food and she’s just as happy as she would be if we gave her 1/2 cup.
It isn’t normally hard to make her food because I make it in big batches and freeze it in small portions but with this move, we’re trying to clean out freezers in Texas and I don’t have a big freezer in MO yet so I keep making about enough for a week . . which is about enough for two days the way she’s been eating.
I always thought dachshunds were hard headed and demanding but this chihuahua . . she is as bullheaded as any human or animal I’ve ever come across. She can bark for hours waiting for us to give in and give her food. She listens to everything we say and when she hears a word that gets a reaction – food, eat, outside, bed – there’s no going back. That’s what we have to do.
Last night I took my shower. I came out and asked Vince if he was staying up for a while. He asked what I wanted to do. I said “I’d like to knit for a few minutes before we go to bed. BED! I said the word. Forget knitting . . we all had to go to bed because Rita heard the magic word.
There’s going to be a good while that I’ll be in MO with her without Vince there and I’ll be able to break some of these bad habits . . til he is back there and she begins using us again.
Speaking of Vince in MO –
Me: Do you think you’ll be ready for the second load to be moved so you can be there by Christmas?
Vince: Well, if I’m not there by Christmas, I should be there by next Christmas.
I don’t think that was a very good answer!