Or not, as the case may be.
It was, if I’m honest, a point of pride that Jasper had not been introduced to human food. It meant, in practice, that he could soon be let out from behind the Baby-Gate-of-Despair whilst we ate our meals, either on the settee (bad!) or at the dining table.
It meant we could safely offer drinks and snacks to guests without a drooling hound sat on their feet staring them into guilty submission with soulful eyes…
And it meant we could happily prepare food in the kitchen, free of the nuisance of a bouncing spaniel clamouring to be on the bench.
In lieu of this model behaviour around our food, he has been thoroughly frustrating towards his own. We have stuck with the dry complete food, that we firmly believe is a good option and would suffice if he would only eat it. We have offered it moist, soaked and dry, we’ve altered, by an hour each way, his mealtimes, and amended to an infinite degree the amounts he’s been fed at each one. Nothing has worked. There is no consistency to what or when he will eat and, although he has grown lanky, the sight of his ribs and the repeated experience of his bloody shoulder blades in your thigh led us to consult with the vet, yesterday evening.
This was as much for my benefit as Jasper’s, if I’m honest. I knew that I could speak to anyone I knew and be offered some nugget of wonderful, guaranteed advice of what they would do, or what their Mam’s postman’s auntie’s dog used to do, but it would not be quite valid enough, for me. I need to hear it from… Authority, I suppose. So off to the vets’ we went.
Thankfully she was unconcerned. He weighed in at 10kg and, since we assured her he still had plenty of energy and interest in being mischievous, she said he was clearly not unwell.
Her suggested solution, though, was to mix in a complementary ingredient with his dry food. Though tinned dog meat was an option, we ended up with sardines in olive oil. Thus my source of pride was vanquished.
On the bright side, he absolutely wolfed down his breakfast this morning, with the addition of half the fish, and has eaten his evening meal without any supplement at all.