Sometimes you have to squeeze yourself through some really uncomfortable places to reach your goals.
Don’t give up.
At some point, we started feeding Electra five times a day.
Sounds crazy, I know. But here’s the thing–our dog’s one weakness is her absolute addiction to food. There have been a handful of times over the years that she has attempted to eat herself to death. After owning her for a year or two and realizing that she kept waking us up earlier and earlier in the morning because she simply couldn’t last another minute without being fed, we decided to take her twice-a-day feeding and split it up into five smaller meals so she would sleep through the night and give us a little peace.
6:00 am, Noon, 5:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, like clockwork.
But somehow, in her old age, Electra seems to be getting a little senile because anytime I stay up too late, she starts getting antsy and acting like I owe her another round. Case in point–I caught her staring at me about 20 minutes ago.
Then, she got up, walked over, and started barking at me, full freakin’ volume, until I got up and gave her another serving.
She’s either losing her damn mind, or she’s just really damn smart because she seriously just harassed me out of more kibble.
Yep, I just got bested by a dog.
What happens when your dog has a long basset body, short legs, and an itch she just can’t quite get to? Something that looks like this…
I mean, wtf? This dog kills me.
If there’s anything that our sweet Electra is really good at, it’s reminding me of life’s priorities. For all the crap we give our hound about being a bed-hogging rabbit-killing food whore, she really does know how to keep it simple. The only thing Electra ever really gets agitated about is food. And can we blame her? We all need food and water to survive. So if that’s the only thing that really makes our dog go all Jekyll and Hyde, then I’d say she is the only one in this house (and probably most of the civilized world) that really has her priorities straight.
I mean, I like to think of myself as a pretty easygoing person, but let’s face it, there are days when missing a green light on my way to work can set me on edge for the rest of the morning.
But how many of us fall into that same trap? How many of us spend way too much time and energy focusing on the trivial little things we can’t control, things that (in the grand scheme of things) don’t even matter much anyway?
Be honest now.
I, for one, know I’m a helluva lot happier when I just let the little things roll off. Some days it’s easy. Other days, I have to make a very conscious and deliberate effort to shift my focus off of the minor annoyances and onto the things and the people who really matter. But let me tell you, it’s worth the effort. Every time.
So, I’m starting this new year the way Electra is. I’m hanging out in the house, being lazy, enjoying some good food, and searching for the little rays of sunshine that keep me warm and make me happy.
Smart ol’ hound, isn’t she?
At this point, it’s probably getting a little old talking about Electra’s food-whoring ways. But we’re either off our game lately (which is quite possible seeing as everyone in the Romano house has been living in a perpetual state of sleep-deprivation since Henry was born), or Electra is getting a whole lot smarter and more devious in her middle-age.
Lately, it seems she’s hell-bent on total food domination.
She cracked the code on her plastic food storage container a few months ago, figuring out that if she licked the door of it long enough, and nudged it with her nose in just the right places, she could get the door to pop open and reveal the veritable Pandora’s Box of irresistible kibble inside.
Two weeks ago, she managed to stretch herself long enough to reach up over the top of the kitchen counter and snag a bag of chocolate peanut butter cookies that Cadence brought home from her Kindergarten class bake sale.
Last week I caught her trying to nose a box of Dunkin Donuts off the kitchen table, and later crunching away at a piece of gold spray-painted bowtie pasta that she apparently wanted so badly that she found a way to pull Cadence’s preschool ornament down off the Christmas tree to get at it.
Who the hell wants a piece of gold spray-painted uncooked bowtie pasta?
Electra, that’s who. Note the little ornament made with Fruit Loops all the way near the top of the tree (top left corner).
And just this weekend while I was upstairs feeding Henry and Stevie was down in the basement rotating the laundry, Cadence caught Electra munching away on a candy cane that Electra had stolen off the gift from Cadence’s Kindergarten teacher.
After a whole lot of yelling and a few tears, Cadence managed to wrestle the candy cane away from our hound, clean up the mess, and shoo Electra into the backyard before she came to find Stevie and I to report the crime.
So far, none of Electra’s scores have made her sick, but it’s clear that we need to step up our game if we’re going to keep our dog from eating her way into some serious trouble.
And Cosette and Leo must have felt sorry for Cadence after Electra stole her candy cane, because they showed up this morning bearing a whole bunch of candy cane gifts for Cadence to eat and help hang on the tree.
Up high. Way high. Where even our persistent basset-bodied hound dog can’t reach them.
Damn dog. If she wasn’t so sweet, she might be in more trouble.