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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feeding Time

It strikes me as uncanny the way Gypsy and FLD Gus know the time, especially when our clock chimes at 7:30 am and later at 5:00 pm.  Doggie-meal-times.

This evening, the two of them stand expectantly, as if waiting for a bus that's running late.  I listen--from the basement I can just barely hear the clock hammer five beats.  I only have two more screws to bolt into my new "bike room" wall and the last of my small parts cabinets will be in place.

They can wait a few more minutes.

There, I'm done, I say to them as I turn toward the door.  The clicky-clack of eight puppy paws race ahead of me to the stairs.  FLD Gus heads for his mat and Gypsy sits on the carpet next to him in anticipation.

I fill Gypsy's bowl first to show Gus she's the boss and as an exercise in self-control.  Gypsy, OK!  She slinks to her dish that's on the left side of an oval braided rug, but doesn't start eating; she watches me out of the corner of her eye.

I pour half of Gus's food into his bowl on the right side of the same rug.  He remains sitting on his mat, but his nose is scanning the air.  When I pick up the water bowl between the two stainless-steel bowls he a l m o s t gets up, but a look from me settles him.

I fill the water bowl at the sink.  Gus is so stock-still I wonder if he is holding his breath.  At my OK release, he sucks in a little gasp, rockets across the kitchen, slides the rug into the wall, and buries his face into his food.  I'm glad I'm still holding the water bowl.  I guess Gypsy is glad too, because only now does she eat, daintily picking up one piece of kibble at a time.

I empty some of the water out of the bowl; before I can set it down, Gus has almost somersaulted back over to his mat.  He twirls backwards, bumps into the wall as he sets his butt down, not quite on the mat.  He twirls again and lands squarely in place, lifting his chin to wait for round two.

Good mat, Gus! I say and clatter the remainder of his food into his bowl.  OK!

Pretty smart of me to not leave the water bowl full!

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