I’m not exactly gullible. At least, I don’t think I am. I like to imagine that I have found a perfect balance somewhere smack in the middle of overly trusting and obnoxiously cynical. I love to look for the best in people, and believe that they are inherently good, but I am wise enough to know that is not always the case, and so I rely heavily on my gut instincts and my intution to be my guide.

But, even the most discerning folks can be duped. It happens to everyone at one point or another I’m afraid. And tonight, I am feeling the shame of being outsmarted and made to look the fool.

Tonight, I got played by my dog.

Okay, so here’s how it went down…

It has been a long week here in Casa de Romano. Cadence and I have been sick since Tuesday with some sort of weird combination head cold and stomach virus. Who knows, maybe we have the flu. But no matter what you call it, it sucks, and the two of us are completely drained.

So tonight, when Steven got home from work, we opted for a lazy evening ordering in pizza and vegging in front of the TV. While Steven ran to get the pizza and pick up season 3 of Fringe for our viewing pleasure, Cadence, Electra and I hung out and waited.

In between changing a diaper, getting Cadence a snack, refilling her water, answering an email, having a couple of coughing fits and wiping Cadence’s nose about 150 times, I could have sworn that I fed Electra. I’m almost 99% sure that I do, in fact, remember herding Electra into the kitchen right around the time Cadence decided she needed a couple of graham crackers to tide her over until dinner. But then, the next thing I knew, Steven was home with the pizza and we were locking Electra in her kennel with one of her rawhide chewys.

It wasn’t until later, after Cadence had gone to bed, that I started to notice that Electra was all up in my business, hovering over me, nosing my arm like she wanted to be petted, jumping up into my lap and leaning heavily on my chest. In fact, she had been underfoot for most of the evening. As I sat in the chair holding Electra’s 50 pounds of dead weight, the thought suddenly popped into my mind…

Did I feed Electra?

I sat for a moment, thinking, trying to remember, trying to actually picture myself feeding our dog. I could distinctly remember feeding her last night. Steven had just taken Cadence downstairs to get her out of my hair for a bit while I tried to catch up on a few things and get some work done, and I figured it would be easiest to go ahead and feed Electra right away so she wouldn’t be bothering me. But tonight? I honestly couldn’t recall.

Suddenly I felt a pang of guilt. Had our poor dog been forgotten? Had I, in fact, overlooked her and neglected to feed her in the midst of the crazy sickness and the mealtime rush? Was our sweet, droopy-faced hound quietly starving while we lounged?

“Did I feed Electra?” I asked Steven. He just looked at me dumbfounded.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “I asked and you said you did. Did you?”

I closed my eyes and tried to think.

“Honestly, I don’t know babe,” I admitted. “I remember feeding her last night, and I think I fed her tonight. I mean, I could have sworn I did, but I…I just don’t know. What if I didn’t?”

Steven looked at Electra, lying heavily in my lap.

“I think you did,” Steven said. “I mean, look at her. Even if you didn’t, it’s not like it would hurt her to miss a meal.”

“Aww, no, I don’t want her to be hungry!” I said. “But shit! I don’t remember!”

I leaned down and whispered in Electra’s ear. “Electra? Are you hungry? Did I feed you?”

She perked up immediately and licked her chops.

“Oh jeez! You’re gonna take her word for it!?” Steven said, rolling his eyes. “You know she’d lie to you every time to get more!”

“I know, but I feel so bad!”

“Don’t feel bad! I’m sure you fed her. And if not, seriously, this is one dog that is never going to starve to death. I wouldn’t even worry about it.”

But I looked down at Electra and…

Dammit. That is a face that can get you every time.

“Alright, let’s go eat,” I said.

Electra bolted for the kitchen and sat in front of her food bowl, bouncing up and down and tapping her front feet on the ground in anticipation. I opened up the food container, and the moment I began to scoop, it hit me. I had fed her. I was sure of it.

But now it was too late, I’d already promised. And Electra is not the kind of dog that forgets about a promise, especially not when the promise involves food. I shook half of the food out of the scoop and dropped the other half in the bowl.

I could almost hear her laughing as I walked out of the kitchen.

“Sucker!” Steven said, as I returned to my seat.

Yeah, I am. I really am.

Tonight’s 365 Project is dedicated to my dog, the food whore, who is now comfortably ensconced in a food coma at the other end of the couch. I’m onto you now, Electra. Next time, I won’t fall for your ruse.

About the Author Lori Romano

I am a writer, photographer, wife, mother, dog owner, half-assed housekeeper and a self-proclaimed coffee and chocolate addict. One day, I will write a book.

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