Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dancing for Dinner

Dinnertime is exciting around here. It's hard to understand how a fairly monotonous routine of Natural Balance kibble could elicit such unbridled joy, but it does. Granted, a spoonful of canned food is added for variety, but really. Same old dinner, different day. The dogs don't see it that way though. Lucky and Lady both race into the kitchen when the dinnertime routine begins.

 "DINNER!!! OH BOY, DINNER!!!" It's like they haven't eaten in weeks.

But Katie, quiet and unassuming little dog that she is, puts on the real show. Joy fills her body and soul, and she begins to dance. Front legs out and straight, up and down, like one of those Russian dancers. It sounds something like this, as we move from getting the bowls ready to scooping the food, to adding the meds:

Tap tap tap.

Tap tap tap tap!

Click click click tap tappity tap!

Clickety click tappity tap click click click TAP TAP!!


(notice fine dance technique)
It's entertaining, but all this dinnertime euphoria did make it challenging to get her trained into Lady and Lucky's dinner routine. They are expected to sit politely and wait while the bowls are placed on the floor, and then wait for the "okay!" Lady - as I've written about elsewhere - requires a higher level of pack leadership.

Katie's learning period, which took a couple of months, was hardest on Lady and Lucky. They had to sit and drool with anticipation while Katie's bowl got taken up again and again.

No Katie, sit. She'd sit. I'd put the bowl down and say "wait." She'd rush it. I would take it away. No Katie, sit. She'd sit. I'd put the bowl down and say "wait." She'd rush it. Eventually one or both dogs would turn and stare at her. You could just see the thought bubble over their heads "For mercy's sake, SIT already!!!!!!"

But Lady and Lucky were such good dogs while Katie learned. I tried to get some photos of this last summer, but Katie was too camera shy to get more than just a shot or two (and then, poor dog, after all that eager anticipation, she ran away into the living room). But she's gotten used to the camera now.

Good dogs! Good Katie!



  1. Oh! The dinner time dance of joy. I can SO relate to that!

    Love and licks, Winnie

  2. I love Katie's little dance! I also enjoy watching our newest girl Daisy do her little dance before the food gets prepared. She jumps up on her little short back legs then twists her head left and right. Sometimes if she's real excited, she evens lets out a happy "woo-woo-woo!" when you open up the pantry. They are just so darned cute!

  3. good job being patient, I mean tortured....BOL. We do the same for our LTD Natural Balance
    Benny & Lily

  4. Oh wow!!!!!!
    love that Katie Sue!!!!

  5. I agree, I can hardly believe my dogs when it is time to eat (the same food). although.... I do add for variety to the tops of their food (not all at once)

    Vanilla Yogurt
    green beans

    That is when they go CRAZY!!!!!!

    Very sweet pictures. I like the first one when everyone is in the picture, including kitty!!

  6. Love the dance! LOL And I am impressed at your 'leader of the pack' routine done so beautifully. Many years ago (not saying how many--ouch) I did the same thing. Gave it up a while back, the most we do is require a sit until the dish is on the floor...and then step out of the way quickly. ;-)

  7. That's so impressive they all wait like that! My dogs definitely rush their bowls, haha ;) It's pretty funny to watch them get so excited at meal time!

  8. Well Darla and Kate, don't be too impressed - or think I'm some kind of control freak, lol. It took only a few experiences of being body slammed by a 90 pound dog (Lady) as I tried to set the bowls back down, that I realized we needed a better way! Now Miss Lady is the perfect "lady," just waiting so politely and patiently for her food. It's hard to remember her being any other way! But, the arrival of Katie this spring did serve as a reminder. :) Now Katie has the routine down too, although she almost vibrates with anticipation.

    Deborah, I laughed at what you said about Daisy. Katie has done that on occasion too. She NEVER barks, but sometimes when she gets so excited she can't contain herself, she'll let out this "woof woof!" while dinner is being readied. The first time she did that, I jumped about 3 feet! I'd never heard her bark before! So funny. And Ina - great ideas for some variety, I'm going to try some of those.

  9. I love it! We have a similar routine here, but our kiddos eat one at a time. They each need to sit and wait to be calm before they are allowed to eat, though. It's become a process since the introduction of Fenway, like your Katie. He's learning...