The pecking order seems to be changing around here.
At mealtime, the two black dogs squeeze their cute little butts onto a single mat against the wall. FLD Scout doesn't even need to be told. Gus waits for eye contact before he swings into a sit.
The old crabby brown dog wanders around until I insist that yes, she must sit too.
Gypsy is first to be fed. There is some respect for seniority. But lately she is slow to approach her bowl of old-dog food moistened with a bit of water. She seems to want to defer to the younger, bolder Scout.
Gus is released next. OK. He bounds to his bowl across the room like an Olympic 100-meter man and begins to scarf.
Scout crouches in anticipation, one front paw lifted slightly off the floor. When I look at her, she dips her head in preparation. I pause. She settles back.
OK. She's learned to time her landing without body-slamming the wall. Before Gus has a chance to sanitize his stainless steel bowl, Scout inhales her last morsel and twirls. In a flurry of Lab hair, her butt is back on the mat. Gus touches the mat a millisecond later.
The two know that a small encore helping is on the way. Anything to slow the gorging.
A second heat ensues.
By this time, Gypsy is sniffing her kibble, casting a wary glance at the Labrador frenzy beside her. Gus takes a sentry position behind her and Scout tip-toes in from the side. Her eyes are glued to Gypsy's bowl as if she could make the bits levitate to her mouth. It is only then that Gypsy takes a nibble.
I wonder. Is this how a just-struck critter on the side of the road feels when a kettle* of turkey vultures circle overhead waiting for a last breath?
The specter keeps Gypsy focused on eating. She chews daintily, like a proper matron.
Torturing the Labrador vultures.
*A group of turkey vultures circling overhead is called a "kettle."