All we wanted was a family game night.
Electra obviously needs to brush up on the rules.
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.
We’re closing in on Electra turning 11, and it’s getting harder to deny, our sweet hound is getting old. Obviously we noticed it in her face, as it slowly turned from mostly brown to mostly white. And this past year or so, she has turned into brash old lady who just doesn’t give a fu** about anything but trying to live her best life. And that roughly translates into her being more stubborn than usual and completely disregarding any rules we try to set in place to quash her food-whoring ways.
I imagine Betty White is her spirit human.
Most recently, though, her give-no-shits attitude has prompted her to attempt slow-motion jailbreaks. This morning, while we were attempting to get the kids wrangled and out the door to load up the car, Electra quietly sauntered out the door with us. Luckily Stevie managed to wrangle her back into the house with the promise of a cookie.
Less than 10 minutes later, as Stevie was pulling out of the driveway with the kids, I stepped out the garage door to start my car, and didn’t notice that the door stayed open a crack behind me. The next thing I knew, Electra was out the door again and heading for the driveway. I hollered and grabbed her collar and promised her another cookie if she would just get her ass inside.
I mean seriously, what does this dog think she’s doing? It’s 8 degrees out, a foot of snow on the ground, and God knows there is no way she’s going to go out there and find another family who is going to stick to her ridiculous feeding schedule.
I honestly don’t think she would make it far. This old girl has about two blocks of stamina in her. But hey, at least she still has enough spunk left in her to try, right? Even if she gives me a mild heart attack every time she tries to escape, part of me is kinda proud that she is the type of dog who, even in her ripe old age, will see her opportunity and take it.
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?