Hungry Like a Dog (apologies to Duran Duran)
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Years ago, my dad once joked that I was spending too much time with dogs. This morning, watching my dogs eat (devour) their breakfasts, I thought he might have been right. I noticed some similarities between their eating habits and mine.
1. The dogs get very excited about mealtime. Really, seriously excited. I'm sure it's the highlight of their day. You'd think they didn't get regular meals, that I forgot to feed them on occasion or that 2 Squares plus treats a day is a new experience for them from the way they act each and every time I put food in front of them. While I don't achieve their same through the roof level of excitement over eating, I do sometimes think an awful lot about my next meal and I definitely enjoy eating. I bet if I was at the mercy of someone else for every morsel of food, even if that someone was really excellent about providing those morsels (for the record!), I might approach their level of anticipation for meals too.
2. My dogs would binge if they could. I am super careful to keep food out of their reach. The agile Border Collie/champion counter surfer has taught me well. This diligence on my part has helped them avoid potentially dangerous binges. I definitely share their keen appetite though I am at least more discriminating in what I consider edible. Dogs can be so gross - or stupid - the agile Border Collie once ate an brand new, unused SOS pad for reasons I could never figure and he wasn't saying. Unlike the dogs, however I don't have anyone watching out for my welfare, keeping junk and potentially dangerous (if only decades down the road) binges away from me. Oh, wait, I do that for myself. Or at least I try to careful about not bring food into the house that will tempt me into unhealthy eating. And unlike the dogs, I am capable of rationally looking at what I want to eat and why.
3. The dogs and I share a keen appetite. This goes with the ability to binge and excitement over mealtime, I suppose. But I find that keen appetite in both the dogs and myself to be a comfort in the sense that it is, for us at least, a sign of health. The day one of the dogs doesn't want to eat, I know something is seriously wrong. Same for me. If I am lacking appetite, that is an important piece of information to consider that something is off with my system.
4. Not that the dogs understand, but they get the benefit of excellent nutrition. There is a lot of research (and omg, bitter, protracted, angry Internet debates/arguments) over what to feed dogs for good health and long life. As with our own journeys to health, I feel there are many routes one can take. I make my choices on what to feed the dogs both on the research and how my dogs do on a particular diet. How someone else's dog does on some food is interesting to me, but in the end it is how my dog does that makes up my mind. I have had all my dogs on the same diet and all three on different diets, depending on their needs at any given time. Same with what I eat. I love that there is so much information out there to look at for guidance and I enjoy hearing about what works for others. But in the end, what works for you may not work for me. And that is ok.
Good nutrition is the area where I have been the slowest to catch up to my dogs. I just haven't paid the same attention to the importance of nutrition to my own health and well-being until recently. I still have a ways to go before I feel that I am being as careful with my food as I am with theirs. Unlike them, I can't eat the same thing day in, day out and I have decades of bad choices and ingrained habits to work through. But I am making progress and envision making more positive changes.
So, I guess it isn't all bad or too weird that I see some food related issues I share with my canine companions. As dear old Dad noted, I do spend a lot of time with them. :-) Now, if you'll excuse me, the agile Border Collie has been telling me it is time to throw a ball for him. Dogs live in the moment. It is one of the things I enjoy most about them.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!