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The dogs that have darkened the door of The Mom’s house have all had rather unusual eating habits. I don’t know why this is. Maybe it’s dogs in general, but I feel the other ones I’ve met, out and about, don’t have this drive to eat all the things that aren’t immediately identifiable as food. For reasons difficult to understand, our dogs exist almost exclusively on a diet of non-food items.

Mr. Pants enjoyed eating sticks and leaves as well as underpants. The Pig preferred her own creations, thinking that fecal matter was just nature’s way of providing hot snacks. Poochie was more discerning, raised as she was almost exclusively by The Mom, and thus becoming used to a diet of salmon and apples from day one, though she did extend herself to crab apples, stones, and anything that was dead and rotting. Elvis preferred shoes, belt buckles, headphones, and anything verging on the ridiculous.

And while The Mom has a fairly laissez-faire attitude when it comes to the eating habits of anything and anyone who is in the house, she does tend to draw a line at electronics and things normally found at the hardware store. I feel this is well within her remit.

However, her latest house guest, The Puppy, is proving to be a difficult eater. The Mom was perhaps ill-prepared for a streak of willfullness in something so young. As children, before our allergy diets got the better of us, and we began to look at food only out of the corners of our eyes, I believe we were if not enthusiastic, then at least amenable eaters. I remember The Mom insisting only on the fact that we consumed a piece of fruit that she’d cut up each morning. After that, she absolved herself of our breakfasts. Most of our friends’ parents insisted on more: on porridges, slices of toast, glasses of milk, and all sorts. All we had to do was eat one piece of fruit. Anyhow, The Puppy, who I think she was imagining would just stick to her kibble and the scraps The Mom doles out with a staggering frequency, has not stuck to the script.

And has managed so far to eat a good portion of The Mom’s house. I receive long emails detailing the contents of the house that are now to be found in The Puppy’s digestive system. I consider writing to a relevant academic at my university to enquire as to whether or not a dog can digest batteries, and if so, is it advisable, but so far I have held off. Fearing of course it may lead to more challenges.

As in, say, me writing home to The Mom and saying: Right, the batteries aren’t going to get digested, but have you tried something more soluble? I think I left an old pair of Birkenstocks in the mudroom. See how the cork goes down, an academic here says that mixed with the stomach acid and the batteries, we’re in for a whole bunch of fun!

Like I say, I think that playing Science Experiment with The Puppy’s digestion is perhaps ill-fated.

The Mom’s emails though are also increasingly desperate, and sound as though I’ll need to rally the troops at any moment. Crazy D I have on stand-by, ready to jump into battle at any moment (provided he’s not working). One text message from me and he’ll be over there like a shot.

Which is good because, though The Mom is mentioning putting The Puppy in her crate at night and whilst she’s out, The Puppy is cottoning on to this and is beginning to refuse to go into her crate. I worry that one day, Crazy D is going to go over to check up on the situation, and find The Mom in the crate, and The Puppy eating wha’ts left of the kitchen cupboards.These are indeed fraught times.

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