Don’t Feed The Animals

I just realized that we’re coming up on our dog Buddy’s fourth birthday. I remember when our daughter first picked him out. I was totally against it, for although I love animals, especially dogs, I thought there was more responsibility to pet ownership than we could handle. Of course, today I have zero regrets. I don’t know what our family would do without Buddy around. He is a four-legged, white-haired, tail-wagging bundle of happiness.

Sometimes that works against him, as I never can say no to the little guy. So, no matter how tired I am, if he wants to play, I play. If he wants to sleep on our bed, that’s what he does. The only time I deny him is if he wants to eat something I’m eating and I know the food item is not good for dogs.

For that very reason, we rarely keep chocolate and grapes in the house, as both are dangerous foods for dogs to ingest. But that’s not to say I don’t share food with my best friend. I know, for the most part, you should not feed your dog table food, that they need a healthy diet of food made specifically for them.

So we spend quite a bit of money making sure he has the right food. But I have to confess, and my wife scolds me for this, that I occasionally feed him some scraps from my own plate. Of course, I make sure what I feed him is safe — I literally treat him as though he’s one of our kids.

But I always get caught, and my wife constantly lectures me on it. For the most part, getting lectured is not worth it and secondly, my wife is right. But I try. For this past Easter dinner, in addition to all the food my wife prepared, I decided to barbecue some meat. Buddy always joins me on the back patio, mostly to keep me company.

As I was grilling, I cut off a small piece of meat and put it on the side of the grill to cook as a treat for Buddy. Since we were alone, no one would be the wiser. After it was fully cooked, I picked it up with my tongs and was blowing on it to cool it down for Buddy’s safe consumption. Just then, my wife surprised me, and not wanting to get caught feeding Buddy, I instinctively shoved the piece of flaming hot meat into my mouth. A mouthful of molten lava would have been cooler.

My wife exclaimed, “bachi!”, which is loose Japanese slang for “jinx!” With my mouth full and as I contemplated calling an ambulance, I mumbled, “I think this needs more salt.”

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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