Sunday, August 07, 2005

Treats - To Eat, or Not to Eat

Treats...the right treats can motivate us to obey our human's ridiculous requests, such as "shake" or "high five". But you can't accept just anything. No, no - we dogs have little control over what we are allowed to eat as it is. Huskies are smart enough to figure out that if you refuse certain food offerings, especially a few days in a row, your humans will worry and try to tempt you with different foods. A friend of ours from Husky rescue gave me a box of Trader Joe's all natural peanut butter dog treats, which were HEAVENLY. When they ran out, my mom didnt feel like driving half an hour to a Trader Joe's, so she tried to fool me with all natural peanut butter treats from some other store! Well, I am no fool. I took the treat excitedly in my mouth, and then...I noticed that these treats were not the same kind! Now, I don't know what my mother was thinking - She buys her favorite yogurt (which she very generously shares with me sometimes), her favorite cereal, her favorite cheese, etc. How would she feel if dad went out and bought all different brands? So I did the only thing I could do. I delicately spit the treat out, laid down, and stared at her. She picked it up and held it in front of my mouth. Oh yeah, now I want it, since you shoved it in my face! I turned my face away with a look of disdain. My mom stomped off muttering about starving dogs all over the world and how they would be grateful for a high quality all natural treat. She kept trying to fool me into eating those treats for the next few days, but I stood firm and politely declined them each time. Today she broke down and took me to Petco and bought a bag full of my favorite treats from the treat bar...success! I humbly offer the following composition: Husky Hints for Getting the Food You Want
  • If your human offers you food that doesn't knock your socks off, take a few halfhearted nibbles, drop the kibble back into the bowl, sigh loudly, and look mournfully at your human.
  • If your human says "Come on, it's very good food, and it has your favorite...chicken!", sniff the food, lick a kibble once or twice, drink some water as if you are trying to get the taste out of your mouth, and look mournfully at your human.
  • If your human says "Well, that's all your getting, so you'll eat when you get hungry enough!" it is time for drastic measures. You don't want to actually go hungry. The point is to guilt your human into making your food worth eating. You need to push the envelope. Start eating some kibble - crunch down as if you're really eating it, and then start coughing. For maximum effectiveness, allow crumbs and pieces of kibble to fly out of your mouth in all directions. Drink some water as if trying to get the crumbs out of your throat. Continue to cough, hack and gag loudly over the next 10 minutes. Then walk away, lie down and sigh loudly.
  • Most humans will, at this point, feel desperate to get you to eat. After all, Huskies are naturally trim, and we are not designed to carry extra fat. We are also known for being finicky eaters. If I decline the food offering more than once, my mom will add a dollop of her delicious yogurt to my food, or sprinkle some lovely shredded parmesan cheese on it.
  • Now the key to long term banishment of the unacceptable food offering is to continue to refuse to eat the food offering.
  • This is especially effective if it is continued into the next day. Continue to turn away with a look of disdain. At this point my mother is thinking about how since Huskies have small appetites anyway and I am naturally slim, I really do need my nutrition...then she will continue to add yogurt or canned pumpkin (YUM!) to my kibble to bribe me into eating it!
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