When Zozo was a puppy, James and I agreed- we made a pact!- that we wouldn’t give him food from the table. There’s too much that’s not good for his stomach, we said. We don’t want to encourage bad habits.
Athena was already spoiled by nibbles of corn chips and burnt french fry bits from Five Guys. We had a second, temporary rescue cat that would snatch whole cheeseburgers from plates and try to make off with scrambled eggs.
So with Zo, no meant no. Except for maybe just a corner of a pancake (“He asked if he could taste it!”). Or a bite of pizza crust (“No, see, it fell on the floor and he got it before I could pick it up!”). Or baby carrots and green beans (“There are vegetables in his dry food. See, there’s a picture on the back by the ingredients of what I think are veggies.”). Or inches of apples. You see where this is headed.
When MJ came home, we redoubled our efforts. No people food. None. She wasn’t interested in food anyway, so fine. She was, however, interested in smelling it. We’d make dinner and she’d pad around the kitchen, snout in the air.
“What are you choppin’?”
“What’s that you pulled out of the fridge?”
“Is somethin’ bakin’ in the oven?”
“Can I smell the soap?”
Snout up, snout down, snout where it doesn’t belong.
Zo would hang out under the breakfast bar, waiting.
Because he knew. He could sense it. It was in the air, like the warming naan or the baking chicken or the dishwasher detergent. Mama’s weakness.
If there is something plain, unseasoned and ok for furbabies, Mama will share. That’s the number one household rule: Mama always shares.
Our dogs don’t beg. They don’t whimper or whine if we’re eating and they’re not. But they line up, bums on the floor in a perfect sit, and accept an offering like communion. And then they scoot away. If there’s nothing for them, they get a treat and then retire to their beds. It’s now routine.
I’m a failure. Terrible, terrible failure.
Is there anything, dear readers, you promised you wouldn’t allow as a furparent that’s completely gone out the window? Am I alone?