Ok, I know, I see it on the TV all the time; don’t feed your dog grains and corn, (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah). So then Mom is always going into Treats at Milwood in Susanville or on the Lake Almanor Peninsula, and  Lassen  True  Value  in  Westwood, 

where they gave her a sample of new food for me. Okay, can I just say that Mom’s research on healthy dogs has already taken away my ice cream and cookie privileges, caused me to get a new shot every year, and now I get my nails trimmed!! What’s next? I mean a guy’s gotta like his food, right?

    So she gets out that little sample bag and I scramble the other way in protest. I heard ‘em. I know they’re planning to away my food tonight. I’m just not gonna eat it! I’ll show them.

   Then she rips the bag open. I can’t help but sniff. Mmmm.. what is that aroma?  At this point I’m feeling something kinda wild. Instinct takes over. I growl a low, deep growl, wiggling my body slowly as I move toward the prey. I slowly follow Mom out to the porch where she lays down the dish. I haven’t felt like this in years. I grab three pieces of the food and carry it to the front of the porch, where other dogs can come and look at it. I slowly eat each piece, all the time scanning the entire area for dogs after my food.

    Dad always feeds any hungry-looking dog that comes to visit. I know I’ve complained about it before, but he makes me stay in the house while they eat my food. Not this food. I now live to protect my food. It starts every morning.

    Mom is usually the first one up, always worrying about getting her coffee ready. By the time the grinder goes off, I am up…. and ready for meat. It always goes the same way. I give her a few deep, quiet growls. (I usually am able to get my point across after about 3 or four discussions with her.) She’s usually laughing at me by the time we get to the front door. She lets me out and shuts the door while I manage my new routine; I gotta know who’s been here. I sniff every inch of the front porch area that is anywhere near my dish. By the time I know the coast is clear Mom arrives with my morning meal, but I never finish that bowl of dog food anymore, not until late afternoon. There is something about being a meat-eater that makes me like to show off my prey and guard over it.

    It’s been almost a month since we changed my food and if you think I was good-looking before, you should see me now. I am lean, fast and sorta wild. I have the energy of a puppy and the mighty stature of a wolf. My mom is thrilled that I am shedding less. (Whatever!) I never noticed a problem!

   These few weeks have made me realize that I can also protect my new toys. I went to stay with my Aunt Cali and she let me bring home my three favorite toys. So when Mom and Dad are done throwing for me I put my toy inside my bowl. I nudge the bowl with my nose and paw until I get it hidden  way under  the   bench;  then I  stand watch. If a dog comes, I bark till my parents come, I nudge them, then I nudge the bowl, until they finally get it and take my food inside. When I go out, the bowl goes out; I don’t think my parents that much, but that’s just how it is when you’re a meat-eater.