The Art of the Meal

Hi! Rose the Irish Setter here. I want to talk to the younger dogs out there about how to train your two-legged companions to give you what you want at mealtime–every time. This takes advance planning and of course persuasive abilities. Humans can be stubborn creatures, so you have to be more stubborn. I call this strategy, “The Art of the Meal.”

And I know everything there is to know about this subject. I am 14 years old and have eaten 3.5 meals per day, 365 days a year, all those years. It’s more than 3 meals per day because I’ve been known to steal food from time to time–anytime I can get away with it in fact. I’m talking pizza, steak, enchilada casserole, to name just a few. Ah, the memories.

So anyways, the first and most important technique in The Art of the Meal is to not let two-legged companions off easily. They might spend two hours preparing their wonderful dinner, but try to pass off a bowl of dry kibble as good enough for you. You can’t let them get away with that culinary crime.

So, let’s suppose they set the bowl down and say, “Here’s your yummy, yummy breakfast for your tummy, precious Rose,” or some other babbling nonsense. You need to perfect the look that says, “Are you kidding me?” If you have sad-puppy eyes, this works even better.

And don’t even consider taking a bite, no matter how hungry you might be when you get up. If you hold out, they will quickly show signs of guilt that you can use to have something delicious added on top of your cruddy kibble.

Eventually they can be trained to go ahead and add the delicious food right away so you won’t have to go through these extra steps. All you have to do is roll out of bed and enjoy a wonderful meal. We canines deserve it.

Now, suppose they give you the tasty meal you deserve. How do you react? Like you are so, so grateful? And they are the bestest two-legged companions in the world? NEVER! Now, my sister Kate the Springer Spaniel might act that way, but if you’ve been reading these blogs you know she’s far too eager to please Brian and Dee. If I weren’t here she would have been stuck with some brand of bland kibble every day of her life. And she’s not as tall as me so she can’t steal the much tastier human food on the counter like I can.

So the proper reaction is to let them set the bowl down, sniff the food a few times as if to give it the quality test, then quietly eat–no excited barking, no tail wagging. Have an expression of, “Oh, yes, I suppose it it time for my morning meal.”

And on the subject of kibble, don’t let your two-legged companions get away with telling you they bought Rachel Ray’s Super-Duper Nutrient Rich and Grain Free Awesomeness brand, or whatever they call it. Ask yourself, does Rachel Ray eat this? I rest my case. At the end of the day, dry kibble is still dry kibble.

And that my young friends is “The Art of the Meal.” Eat well. Like I do.

–Posted by Rose the Irish Setter, sometimes satisfied but seldom grateful

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