When Steven and I were still living in Arizona, we were going out of town for a few days, and decided to leave Electra with Momma Dawn and my step-dad Mark. I got nothing but crap for leaving a booklet of detailed instructions. In fact, Momma Dawn not only laughed at me, she also showed the booklet to anyone who dropped by the house so they could have a good laugh too.
In my defense, I originally made The Everything Electra Handbook (yes, I gave it a catchy title) when Steven and I left Electra with our friends Erin and Ervin and their daughters. The girls were so excited to take care of Electra, but also nervous that they were going to forget some of the information I’d been giving them in response to their hundreds of questions about Electra’s habits. So, to make the girls feel more confident, I made a cute little book full of instructions, telling them everything from the basic commands that Electra knows and where she likes to sleep, to exactly how much and how often to feed her.
See, that’s really the important part–the feeding. Everything else in The Everything Electra Handbook is really straight up common sense. But the food? Yeah, the food is always an issue.
Unfortunately, Momma Dawn spent more time making fun of the handbook than actually reading it, so when we returned from our trip a week later, we found Electra 5-pounds heavier and looking more like an overstuffed sausage than a 2-year-old dog. Apparently, Electra inhaling the prescribed 1/2 cup of food in under 30 seconds made Momma Dawn think that she must not be feeding her enough, so she ended up doubling and even tripling the amount.
And then, there were the treats. Electra will do just about anything you ask for a treat. And if you don’t ask, she’ll just sit and look at you with those big, brown, mournful eyes until you finally give in. And you always give in, because you have to be a heartless, soulless SOB to resist a face like this…
See, people who aren’t familiar with beagles or basset hounds don’t realize that the only real drawback of both breeds is their food obession. And by “food obsession” I mean counter surfing, garbage digging, sandwich stealing, treat mongering, tear into a bag of kibble and eat ’til you burst food obsession.
No joke people. These dogs will eat and eat and eat if you let them. So, if you really care about them, you have to be the responsible one and put on the brakes.
I’ve written about Electra’s obsession at length before (click HERE and HERE if you want a chuckle at my sweet dog’s expense), but sometimes it’s hard to visualize without seeing it for yourself. So, tonight, let’s go to the video tape. If you want to have a little fun, keep track of how much time elapses between the moment she takes her first bite, and the moment she’s done and licking the empty bowl. 🙂
Next time, I’ll post a video that shows how much time she spends licking her empty bowl, the floor around her bowl, the plastic container her food is locked in, then the floor and her empty bowl again. Believe me, if Electra’s saliva was Lysol, that would certainly be the cleanest corner in my house.
And that, my friends, is why anyone who dogsits gets a copy of The Everything Electra Handbook.