They say we are only as sick as our secrets. I don’t know if this is his secret or mine….
Spencer spent the first 8 years of his life outside. When he was in, it was mainly in the mudroom. Then, he spent a year at my mother’s house in the village, where he accidently broke her knee, but that’s a story for a different day…. And when we moved in here, Spencer and Emma came home. They became suburban dogs. They began their transformation at my mother’s house where they had to learn to walk on leash and how to steal food off the counter rather than eat fish out of the creek. They developed a whole new set of skills. Emma eventually learned that she was now a kept dog and she would be fed and walked. She just had to be patient. Emma is a good, smart dog. Spencer is a fart.
Don’t misunderstand, Spencer always had a tendency toward theft. Even when we lived in the woods and he had his fill of critters, he would take every opportunity to steal people food. He did the typical “turkey pull” where the dog pulls the cooked turkey off the counter. The difference being, he pulled it down and swallowed the 14 pound bird whole. He may be part snake as his bottom jaw unhinges and he’s a sneaky, sometimes slimy mutt. I’m not kidding, for a 120 pounds, this dog is fast!!
Spencer eats anything and everything he can. He loves garbage, dead animals are his nirvana, and…. candy. He is a chocoholic. Every year we had an easter egg hunt with about 30 kids and their families. I made a huge ham dinner and I knew better than to let the dogs in the house. I put the 20 bags of candy in the mud room not knowing that Spencer was what he was which is insane. He ate 10 bags of easter candy tinfoil and all before I caught him. Of course, the entire world told me he would die, as chocolate is deadly to dogs in large quanties. What he whole world didn’t know was he is a Coon Hound Disease survivor so I figured he’d survive this too, if only by sheer stupidity and will power. At the same time, if the chocolate had killed him then, after taking care of his paralyzed ass for months on end, I would have been severely pissed. Luckly Spencer didn’t know that chocolate was poison. The only effect the chocolate had on Spence was a sugar high, followed by a sugar low and then alot of diarrhea. He likes to go all out on the holidays. Thank you Easter Bunny. Bawk Bawk!
Obviously from that day on, I knew there was no more being careless with food. Spencer had an addiction and me, being the codependent enabler I am, stepped right up to the challenge of keeping him sober or at least keeping him from eating us out of house and home. But for that year that he and Emma lived with my mother, I became lax. We could actually sit down to dinner without one of us having to keep lookout for a sneak attack from the dog. We would actually leave bread on the counter, a bowl of candy stayed right where we put it.
And then they came home. And I do believe Spencer was bolder and less apologetic than before. He felt entitled to help himself to whatever he wanted. The kids and I began to live like we were in prison. We eat with one arm around our plates and our eyes ever shifting back and forth waiting for that hot doggy breath on our legs, signaling that he is about to take what is ours. Bringing groceries in is a 3 person job now. One to stand guard in the kitchen, one to stand guard at the car door and one to actually bring the groceries in. When heating something up, there is no way to put it down and answer the phone, or the door. If the kids aren’t there to protect the food, I can’t get the door or answer the phone. Or if I do, it is with food in my hands. Bowls filled with meatloaf, hot pans of lasagna, plates of brownies, that how I greet guests to my home, not because I am suzy homemaker, but because if I turn my head, that damn dog will have scarfed down every scrap.
I am considering doing an intervention and sending him to rehab.