When it’s dinner time around this place it gets pretty interesting. Not for me mind you, but for my dogs. The one that coined the phrase ‘It’s a dogs life,’ was pretty much on the money when it came to my dogs. They do indeed have a ‘dogs life,’ and there is really nothing that it can be compared to around these parts.
Life is pretty easy lolling around on the cushions in the air conditioning, barking at a few stray pedestrians that pass their way, and vying for the occasional belly scratch. But when it comes time for the main event, dinner, you’d think they’d never been fed.
We have a ritual, me and the dogs. I make the food. They eat the food. And anything else that anybody is eating in the house is also up for grabs. Around 6 in the evening the natives get restless. I swear that their stomachs can tell the time. It’s like a sixth sense, the gradual gravitation towards the kitchen and the almighty big white beast that is the keeper of the culinary delights.
I like to cook my dogs dinner. I don’t believe in canned food. It makes their poop smell worse than it should. I cook up a batch of mince, rice and vegetables that generally lasts them about 3 days. The cooked meals remain in the fridge in a special container, and they know it’s there. They have watched and learned the routine. I cook and I store in the white beast. I am a major hunter and gatherer in our household. I am a dog god.
Around 5:55 pm I am watched like a hawk. When I finally move towards the kitchen, a frenzy ensues and they do a lap of honour around the kitchen table in a dry run for the bowels that are not there yet. On non-cook days I get the container out of the fridge, the bowls off the shelf and the spoon out of the cupboard. I can see them creeping closer out of the corner of my eye, as I pile their delicious mix into their respective bowls. Angus, my cheeky Bichon boy, slides up beside me and settles into what I call the ‘drop zone,’ so named because it is the best place to be if there are any tidbits dropped from the counter, and he has first dibs on it most of the time. Ruby-Rose, my fat and fluffy Bichon girl hangs back a because she knows that I will always flick a bit of mince off the counter in her direction after I put it in the bowls. She is the hoover of the outfit, and can find a grain of rice from 30 feet away. D-dog, my trusty maltese hangs way back from the fray, as he’s old enough to know that he’s not going to get it any sooner by making a fuss, but he’s still going to get it.
I put the dinner bowls in the microwave and set it for 1 minute. Yeh, I know…I can hear you saying, geez, do they have to have it warm? Yes, they do. It’s balanced and nutritious, why can’t they have it served warm too? Anyway, back to the microwave.
‘ Ding!!’…signals an uprising of epic proportions as they jostle for position. If I’m not quick enough it’s a major drama and you can hear them from a mile down the road. I know this because I live in a quiet street and about 6 months ago around 6:10 pm the guy down the end of the road came down to ask me if they were okay.
I’m almost knocked over in the frenzy as they rush their respective offerings. I place them down one by one and then back away. I watch them as they literally try to ‘out eat’ each other so that nobody can get anybody’s. It reminds me of a few birthday parties that I went to when I was a kid.
And then it’s all over just as quickly as it began. They each do the ritualistic ‘bowl check’ to make sure that nobody has left anything behind, god forbid, and then they head out the door to do the rounds of the garden.
I find that I am smiling.