Outdoors Column: The Starving Dog

Louie, the boxer, has food in his dish at all times. If it happens to become empty, he immediately lets us know about it. At first he just stares at the dish as though he can not believe we would let him run out of food. If this does not get him the immediate desired result he is seeking, he starts pacing and whining. This can get to be quite annoying and it is easier to get up and fill his dish than to ignore him. Most of the time when he has told us to re-fill his dish and we do, he looks at the fresh food approvingly and walks away. He does not need to be hungry to need his dish filled. He just wants to know it is there in case, at some time later, he becomes hungry.


Last week we had a crisis. We ran out of dog food. We get our dog food at Crop Services, which is just a few miles from our house. We have gotten our dog food there for many years. The dogs do great on it and the price is very reasonable. The problem is their hours and mine do not always work. They are not open at this time of year when I go to work and are closed when I get home. During the spring and summer, I have no problem as they work all sorts of crazy hours. At this time of year, my wife has to make the dog and horse feed run. The trouble is, she has to remember to do it. Monday morning I fed the dogs and told my wife that we were about out of dog food. She said, “no problem,” as she had to go to town anyway. With thinking about the things she had to do in town and at home, she forgot. Tuesday morning, I fed the last of the dog food and again reminded my wife of the impending crisis. There was not enough dog food to fill his dish so the crisis arrived sooner than expected.



Louie and his grocery shopper.


It was almost noon when Louie ate the last of his food. She planned on going to Crop Service later in the afternoon. Louie stood staring forlornly at his dish. When my wife did not jump up and get him more food, he started pacing and whining. She became stern with him and told him to be quiet, she would get it in a few minutes. This was not good enough. He started barking and jumping up and down. His remarkable display of suffering was funny at first but rapidly became annoying. She put him outside where he promptly went around the corner and began staring in the window with a pathetic sad eyes routine. It did not take long for her to give in.


My wife called me when she got home to let me know, the crisis had been averted. Once he had food in his dish, life was good again. He was not hungry but was sure if he did not have food available when he did get hungry, he would surely die.