My dog Daisy has an eating disorder.
I am not kidding.
She has been psychologically fucked with in such a way that for her to eat, she must be under the impression that she is stealing or sneaking the food.
Initially, I thought it was the dog food. Initially, I thought she was picky.
Some background: she is a rescue dog. I got her from two lesbian meth addicts.
I am not kidding about that either.
There was a notice in the paper. They had too many dogs—so the county told them. They have to get rid of some, otherwise they will be seized and taken to the pound—a kill pound. Please come and get some dogs!
I was disturbed by the notice. “Poor widdle doggies!” I thought. At the time, I just happened to be entirely dogless. I’d look around my humble abode, and it was entirely dog-free. Sadly.
A house without dogs is like a mouth without a smile.
So I called them up, got in my truck, and went and got me some dogs.
Well, they had many. Apparently, county ordinance, you can’t have any more than than 8 dogs. This meth-addicted lesbian couple had, like, fourteen. They lived in a trailer (I know, I was shocked, too) out in the middle of nowhere. They had needle tracks on their arms—As an aside, it’s a bit disconcerting to spot needle tracks on someone’s arm and, at the same time, hear the distant mooing of cows.
Welcome to South Dakota.
So I took two dogs, Duke and Daisy. I have spoken about them before on this blog. I love them with all my broken heart. One time, Duke got lost (he’s half-blind) and I was in tears. I did find him again, but still. Jeez..
Daisy is cute and hyper and lovable and totally has an eating disorder, no doubt about it. I’d feed them at the same time, apart, at opposite ends of the yard, and she’d act like she did something wrong. I’d sit her bowl of food down before her and she’d cower, put her tail between her legs, get all ready for a kick.
"Did some fucking asshole kick you when you were eating, honey?" I’d chirp at her, but my goo-goo voice did no good.
I’d step away, and she’d sneak over and steal a piece of food, then run and hide and eat it. Very weird.
We adjusted, but it was summer. Now that’s it’s cold out, I feed them in the house oftentimes and she plain won’t hardly eat. Before, generally, she’d eat if I left, going inside the house, but now we’re all in the house. Going into another room doesn’t cut it for her. She is totally skittish about eating.
I watched her. I knew she’s hungry. If I am far away and pretending like I’m not looking, she’ll dart over, grab a bite, and race away to a hiding place, where she’ll chew it up and swallow it.
Guys, if this ain’t a doggie eating disorder, I don’t know what is. Somebody, I think, kicked the shit out of her when she was eating, like, at a very impressionable age. Something. The poor little dog. Jeez.
I have found that by stashing her food around the house and having her search for it, she eats much better. I started by feeding Duke regular like always, in a bowl by the kitchen entryway, but putting Daisy’s food in the pocket of an old hoodie I had laying on the couch.
I didn’t have to leave the room. She totally ignored me, went to work finding her food, and then eating it piece by piece out of the pocket, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
So now when it’s time to feed the dogs and they ain’t outside due to cold, I give Duke his food in a bowl and I stash Daisy’s food all over the house.
Is it under the pillow?
Is it behind the couch?
Is it on the bookshelf next to The Grapes of Wrath?
It fucking well should be.
She’s too busy, having too much fun to be scared or skittish.
I don’t have the desire to put in the effort to cure her or “work through this”, but we have found a way. When I got them, they were both thin—not neglected thin, but a little on the thin side. Both have gained two pounds under my care.
We will all have a good life together, mental illnesses and all :)