I was brought up to think of food as a way to express how much you love someone. If you come to my house and go away hungry, it’s your own fault, because if I like you, and you wouldn’t be invited to my house if I didn’t, I will feed you till you don’t need to eat for a week. And then I’ll send you home with leftovers.
If I offer you food, and you refuse it, you’re refusing my affection. It’s ingrained in my soul and it’s one of the reasons I was overweight for so many years.
Max would eat any time you put food in front of him.
And along comes Maverick.
From day one, he’s turned up his nose at the food we’ve given him. There are only two brands of dog food I’ll consider feeding because of the whole grain free mess and DCM, and so his choices of dry are limited, but he gets a variety of toppers to make things interesting.
Apparently I’m offering poison. For awhile I was letting him free feed, but this kid already thinks he’s in charge of everything and I was advised that I needed to put his food down and pick up the bowl in ten minutes if he hasn’t eaten. Tonight we’ve done this routine three times. At 7:30, I will try for the fourth time. And again at 8. And then he’ll go hungry till tomorrow.
This is not the part that makes me want to tear my hair out. I can outlast him. The part that makes me want to check into the looney bin is that so much hinges on him eating his food. Training involves giving rewards in the form of treats. Treats are far preferable to food, so training goes by the wayside when he won’t eat, because I refuse to reward his refusal to eat. Everything, even playing, involves food in some way, and when he won’t eat, I find myself sitting here, counting the minutes till I can one more time heat up the food and try again. (I heat it up because I refuse to throw out three bowls of food for Mr. Pickypants.)
No one gets this frustration. I’ve tried to explain it to my husband, and to my friends, and no one gets it.
So if you don’t hear from me for awhile, just assume I’m in lockdown and pray they’re giving me good drugs.