Saturday, March 17, 2012


I recognize that this is a total "first world problem," one of my own making, for that matter, but I have increasingly recognized that our animals are food snobs. 

The trouble started with Riley. More likely it started with Mercy, who suffered from terrible food allergies, and Trinity, who ocassionally suffers from the same type of unhappy, stress-prone stomach I have had seemingly all my adult life. Most likely it started with my father, an incredible cook who instilled in me, for good or for bad, the paradigm that food = love. Riley, however, has taken it to an entirely new level. 

She has always been a picky eater, who had finally decided that the Eukanuba food would be satisfactory, so long as it was the bag with a picture of a Yorkshire Terrier on the front. She has little to no interest in most treats, no matter the ilk. It is actually a bit embarassing to go through the drive-through at the bank or the pharmacy and have a pleasant, courteous clerk offer her a treat, only to have her summarily turn up her nose at the offering. 

When she was in the hospital earlier this year, the Internal Specialist expressed concern that Riley was not eating. I explained that she was a picky and sporadic eater at best prior to the coma, and this seemed to satisfy the good doctor for about 12 hours. When we came to visit we would bring tasty little morsels to try to get her to eat a little something: boiled chicken, ham, beef tenderloin, KC strip steak. She was having none of any of it. When she was allowed to come home on furlough, we finally prevailed upon her to eat some of the shredded chicken and sip some broth from the homemade chicken and noodles we were having for dinner. 

She has eaten perhaps five nuggets of kibble since then. 

Now, I prepare her meals from scratch, based on a protein:starch:vegetable veterinary-approved formula I found on the Internet. Pound-for-pound, she probably eats more fresh vegetables than most humans I encounter any given day. Most days, the hand-prepared meals work; some days she decides she is tired of ground sirloin or chicken breasts and I have to sort through the offerings available in the refrigerator to find something more suiting to her taste. She also prefers to have her food slightly warmed. And some times, when I don't get it right, she has to eat around the parts she doesn't like.

No comments: