Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quiet Eating

Another of Father’s traits from the wild appeared whenever he ate and in particular when he was hand fed by someone. When Father was hand-fed, he quietly took the food from my hand and silently ate his food and patiently waited for his next serving. Compare this to how Andy and Abby ate when hand-fed and it’s a stark contrast. Abby and Andy, when fed by hand, would move side to side and with the clicking of their nails on the hardwood floor, it sounded like they were doing a tap dance. Then when they finally got their food, they snapped their jaws shut and smacked their lips with each and every bite.

Did they put on a show, too! I didn’t think much about their eating behaviors until a few times after I had hand feed Father alone in the kitchen. Father was so discrete during these times that it took me a while to catch on to what was “not” happening. If I wanted to give Father the rest of a sandwich, I did so without and audience from the babies. However, if I hand fed Abby or Andy, they might get a bite in before the others would hear the commotion in the kitchen and tippy tip on in to see what was happening. They knew what was happening. They knew a dog was getting a tooty and they wanted to get in on the action. When the other dogs joined the feeding, this meant I had to divide the food among 3 dogs. The first one in the kitchen now had to share with the others

But not with Father. If Father were alone in the kitchen, his quiet eating never drew the attention of his fellow canines so he was able to eat a bigger portion of food. On the surface, it seems like a strange paradox that a dog living in the wild ate with more refinement than the house dogs who ate like they were raised in a barn. I suppose Father’s eating habits were a survival mechanism developed when he lived in his ‘semi-feral’ state. He had to lay low especially when he ate or else he risked drawing unwanted attention.


  1. I was confused about Father's intelligence. I don't know if you saw this entry, for example