I’ve Been a Bad Dog Mom
I admit it. I’ve been a bad dog mom. Not because I don’t love my dog. But because I do, although in a misguided way.
Stella decided she didn’t like her dry dog food. When the delicious smell of meat cooking or the sweet smell of cookies baking in the oven filled the room, she finally realized she was missing out on some of the good things in life. I fell prey to her soulful eyes, as she looked at me and seemed to say, “Can I have some too?”
So I gave her a tiny bite…. of whatever it was she wanted, as long as it wasn’t toxic for her.
When she knew she was getting something “good,” she would turn in circles 4 or 5 times, stop, look at me, then turn in circles again until she was given the yummy thing she wanted. Her anticipation and excitement were adorable. I was totally hooked on seeing her joyful reaction. The “tiny” bites became 3 or 4 bites, and then….. well, let’s just leave it at that.
While I was enjoying seeing Stella so happy, what it was doing to her was driving her further from her (admittedly boring) dry dog food. It got to the point where she would refuse to eat it at all. If I topped it with cooked chicken, she would pick off the chicken and leave the dry food. I tried every kind of doggie “gravy” there is, as well as a host of other things, to entice her to eat her dry food. She wasn’t having it.
I started making her home-cooked meals of chicken, veggies, and rice. While she did like that, and although I was following a veterinarian-approved recipe, there was something that didn’t agree with her. She started having intestinal problems resulting in not-so-fun “events” that needed a lot of cleanup.
So then I tried fresh food (frozen and shipped) to us by a well-known and respected dog food company. She couldn’t tolerate that either.
I was doing everything right, integrating the new food with her dry dog food, just a little bit at a time, to make the transition easier for her. But again, she experienced the same intestinal problems. She apparently has a food allergy that I am unaware of because, besides this reaction, she also developed an ear infection, which the vet said was probably caused by an allergy to something in the food.
So. We’re back to dry food. No treats. No chicken bites. No cookies (oatmeal raisin is her favorite). Nothing but dry food.
She didn’t eat for nearly 2 full days. The vet said to expect this. He also said she would eat when she was hungry.
And she has, but she’s confused. After every few bites, she looks up from her dish and with her eyes, and asks me “Where is the good stuff?” or “Why are you doing this to me?” or “Don’t you love me anymore?” I’m not sure which question she asked me this morning, but I’m telling you… it’s hard to look at her and not give in.
I have to find something else to do for/with her that elicits the same joyful reactions she had when she was getting something good to eat. Not only for me but for her.