My friend’s dog died the other day. Like her, I am one of those people that elevates the status of their pet beyond mere animal. My dog, like hers, is my baby. I don’t just love Snickers, my brown-eyed, brown-haired, just plain ole brown mutt, I adore her. I’d give her a kidney if she needed it. So when I heard my friend’s news, I was devastated, because I immediately projected her loss into my life.
This sent me into a tailspin of woe. What if something happened to Snickers? She’s eventually going to die. How will I survive? I don’t think I’m going to make it?
Just writing about Snicker’s eventual death brings tears to my eyes. God, I’m such a sap.
So what do I do to calm my nerves and make myself feel better? I wander into the kitchen in search of comfort food.
Opening the refrigerator, I stared at its Spartan holdings: milk, orange juice, cottage cheese, lettuce, spinach, eggs, cheese, whole grain bread and more assorted fresh vegetables. A phrase I often hear from my husband and children leapt into my mind, “There’s nothing good to eat in this house!”
Hearing the fridge door open, Snickers trotted into the kitchen. She sat down on her spot, the rug in front of the sink, stared at me with those big brown eyes and cocked her head to one side. Her expression said, “Whatcha doing mommy? You gonna eat something? Can I have some?”
Closing the refrigerator door, I wandered over to her, bent down and gave her a big hug and roughly 1,000 kisses on her soft head.
“Would you like a treat?” I asked her.
She immediately perked up, sat up straight, and held a perfect sit position, the one they teach you in dog obedience school. If she could talk I’m sure she’d say, “Uh, duh.”
I got out a dog biscuit and uttered the command “down.” Snickers dove onto the floor like a swimmer pushing off a diving block—a move that always cracks me up.
“Good girl,” I told her and gave her the biscuit.
As I watched her trot off into the family room with her prize, I realized I wasn’t really hungry so I poured myself a glass of water instead. (Gotta get those seventy ounces in.)
The In8 program is forcing me to reevaluate my relationship with food. I was clearly looking for entertainment, preferably something sweet and decadent to lift my spirits. Not having something readily available forced me to satisfy my need with something else. And what I discovered I really wanted was to hug my dog. To kiss her and love her and reassure myself that, for now, she’s here with me, and I’ll enjoy her for as long as I can.
I’ll also feed her bad food, like table scraps, gravy, and whipped cream from a can, which always makes me laugh. Food IS entertainment. At least for my dog.