We have a dog, Benny. He’s nine months old and is, as you can see, the handsomest dog on the planet. He’s also very hungry.
We got Benny earlier this year. He’s a purebred, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and if that seems like a ridiculously long name for a dog breed, you’re right, it is. I don’t know why they’re not just called Nova Scotia Retrievers, or Duck Tolling Retrievers. You don’t need the geographic origin AND a job description in the name. “Poodle” is a good breed name; “French Poofy-Haired Barking Dog” is not necessary. You don’t call a Rottweiler a “German Child-Biting Scary Hound” or a Pomeranian the “Pomeranian Ridiculously Small Purse Sized Dog.” Even enthusiasts of this breed of dog just call them Tollers.
Anyway, we got Benny from a reputable breeder (Kalmegess Kennels) and there’s a lot of benefits to that, like knowing where the dog came from, a clean bill of health, and of course, the Canadian Kennel Club certificate with a crazy long “kennel name” by which Benny is officially known, and which I can’t accurately remember, it’s so long. His real full name is Benny Handsome Goodboy but that wasn’t allowed as a kennel name. One of the other things they gave us was a psychological assessment of Benny (SPOILER: He thinks like a dog) as a puppy. And one of the big things about Benny was “Not very food motivated.”
This was a big deal. In fact, it was one of the reasons they chose us for Benny, because we were big on formal training, and they figured a not-so-food-motivated dog needed that.
Well, we’ve had Benny (also acceptable name: The Bento Box) for seven months now, and let me tell you something; to say he is not food motivated is like saying the Pacific Ocean isn’t wet. Benny is the most food motivated animal in the history of food, animals, and motivation.
Benny is hungry. He’s hungry right now. He’s not even here – he’s out on a walk with Mrs. MAJ – but I know he is hungry, because I know he’s alive. Benny is hungry at all times, in all situations. He is hungry every single moment he is awake, and I’m pretty sure he dreams of being hungry. Benny is hungry every day that ends in the letter Y.
We don’t starve the dog, and yet he is always starving. He gets the most expensive dog food we can buy, in the amounts prescribed, plus a big treat every day, plus little treats, and yet every time we feed him it’s as if he hasn’t eaten in weeks. If someone is in the kitchen, he is there. If someone is eating, he is there. If you’re eating right now, he’s thinking about you. He’s hungry even immediately after eating; it actually seems to make him hungrier. He’ll eat a full meal and then if you let him outside he’ll eat leaves and plants. He’ll eat bugs. He eats his toys. He ate part of a bandanna. He eats and eats and there is no end to it. When here is nothing to eat he noses around and licks the floor and looks at you longingly, hoping you just might have food. It’s actually kind of disgusting.
Benny isn’t my first dog and I know they’re eatin’ machines, but he takes eating obsession to a whole new level. You know the old saw that the difference between dogs and cats is that if their owners die, dogs will mourn you and cats will eat you? Benny would mourn, but he’d eat me.
The other thing Benny does that bothers me is he stares at you while he’s pooping. Every time. He’ll commence a squat, and then turn and look you right in the eyes. He won’t look away. It’s as if it’s some kind of twisted obsession. “Look at me. WATCH ME POO. YOU HAVE TO PICK IT UP. HA HA HA HA HA!”
Benny is a great dog, don’t get me wrong. I adore him. He’s easily the smartest dog I have ever owned, or even known, and he’s gentle and sweet and obedient and a big suck, just like I like my dogs, but he’s gluttonous and gross and a clumsy oaf. Before we got Benny I thought our cat Mittens was a doofus. Now I appreciate what a quiet, graceful, intelligent animal he is.
He still craps in a box, though.
Post stories about your pet in the comments, please.