I’m dog-and-house-sitting for my brother and sister-in-law while they’re visiting Germany for a few weeks. And when I say “dog-sitting,” I’m referring to three dogs — Rosie, Scruff, and Winnie. They’re all mixed breeds, but Winnie and Rosie are easily 10 times little Mr. Scruff’s size. He’s basically a three-pound mop.
Or so I thought.
So, when my sister-in-law showed me how to feed the dogs, she did it in this order: Rosie, Scruff, Winnie. And for whatever reason – laziness, safety’s sake, whatever – I did too.
Until a few mornings ago, that is, when it suddenly occurred to me, hey, this isn’t fair, poor Winnie always gets her food last.
Well, I am all about social justice.
So I lit upon the oh-so-bright idea of shaking things up and putting Winnie’s food down first. It seemed like the fair and proper thing to do.
What’s that saying about the road to hell and good intentions…?
Now, I should break here and explain what usually happens when you feed these dogs in the “Rosie, Scruff, Winnie” order.
First, you put down Rosie’s bowl. Rosie sits patiently and waits for you to move, then walks over and begins eating. You then put Scruff’s much smaller bowl (with the much smaller kibble) down a few feet away. Scruff scampers over and chows down. Winnie waits patiently by the couch, and when you put her bowl down ten feet or so from Scruff’s, she bounds over and begins eating.
All nice. All orderly. No drama.
My bright idea of rotating the first-bowl-down for fairness’s sake? Not so bright, as it turns out.
Yeah, what happened as soon as I put Winnie’s bowl down was nothing less than genius physical comedy at its finest. I mean, Dick Van Dyke would have stood and applauded.
First, Winnie got trapped behind the couch by Rosie. Then Rosie made a beeline for Winnie’s dish.
So guess who started eating Winnie’s food first?
I’ll give you a hint: IT WASN’T ROSIE.
Yes, the venerable Mr. Scruff – the Scruffinator, as my daughter has taken to calling him and I’m not at ALL sure that’s not more accurate – beat out the dogs ten times his size and began eating the big-dog kibble.
I was all “Wait, guys, wait, no!”
And I tried to relocate the dogs.
But Scruff wasn’t budging. He locked in all four paws and suddenly grew about twenty times his original mass. I picked him up bodily – whereupon Rosie rushed in to Winnie’s bowl.
So then I had the three-pound squirmy dog in my arms and somehow had to coax the sixty-pound dog away, as well.
And all the while, Winnie’s jumped on the couch, her front paws on the back of the couch, her tail wagging, taking all this in with a goofy grin, like “oh, this is funny! More! MORE COMEDY!”
It took about 2 minutes of a Keystone Kops routine, but I finally got them straight.
And that night, I went back to Rosie, Scruff, Winnie.
Just to be safe.