Kaline has always been a fussy eater, more or less. He goes through phases of eating really nicely, and then phases of just NOT EATING. As you may have guessed from my all-caps, I find this extremely frustrating.
It seems (I am trying not to jinx it) as though the fussy eater days are over! My genius friend Amber, handler of Kaline's cousin and fellow SDIT Rowan, sent me Sue Ailsby's fussy eater protocol and for the most part, it worked like a charm!
DISCLAIMER: What I am about to say is a paraphrase of Sue Ailsby's method. I did NOT think of it myself.
I was pretty desperate, as Kaline hadn't eaten anything in about a day and a half. I finally had gotten him to put on weight so that his ribs could be easily felt but not seen, and was very afraid he was going to lose it all. Amber sent us the protocol, and off we went.
For Kaline's first meal on the plan, I cut him back to about a cup (normal meals are two cups). I filled his bowl, then did what I almost never do when feeding dogs: I tried to amp Kaline up. I squeaky-talked to him, got him racing out to his food bowls, put the bowl down with a great flourish and released him. He rushed up to it, stuck his nose in ... then walked away. I counted to five, then took away the bowl.
At the next meal, I only put in about half a cup. Same excitement ritual and what do you know? He ate it! Scarfed it all down! With one or two hiccups, I got him back to two cups per meal and now he is eating like a champ. You put down that bowl and he eats until the food is gone. I am a very happy dog mommy. Here is the link to the detailed method if you too have a fussy eater and want him to be replaced by a chow hound.
In other news, I have been in a funk that I would find interesting, I suppose, were I not actually in it. I am exceedingly anxious most of the time, churning tummy, racing thoughts, etc., plus just really depressed and negative about most things. Usually it's one or the other. Usually if I'm in a depressed funk I am too low and lethargic to have this much anxiety.
Anyway. I obviously don't do this all the time, and don't really recommend it as a regular mood-booster unless you've just won the lottery, but I treated myself with some Paco collar retail therapy in addition to having the dogs help me over the weekend. With help from Lindsay and Bruce the Painted Doberman, I ordered a new black/silver deluxe super-bling Stardust for Juno, with blue and light blue sea glass along with abalone rhinestones, and a new tan/brass deluxe super-bling Stardust for Kaline, with red, blue, and purple sea glass. We are not going to talk about how much these collars set me back. It is a very great secret. However, I feel much better knowing that I didn't do nearly as badly in my dog walking income for this past month as I thought I would. (Short month, ski week, etc. and I was still only off the previous month by a few hundred dollars. Wooooo.)
After ordering the Pacos, we headed to Lindsay's grooming shop where she very kindly bathed Kaline and Juno in scrumptious-smelling shampoo and conditioner. The dogs smell so good I want to EAT them. And they're extra shiny. Kaline whined and wailed like he was being beaten, because he is Mr. Drama Queen. Never believe it when people tell you Dobermans are tough and scary. They are THE biggest babies ever. It's why we love them!
On Sunday, Kaline got to work my mom's second birthday dinner. (Juno did Real Birthday Dinner.) This was planned by my mom and her sister, so my Auntie Barbara, Uncle Paul, and cousins Walker and Whitney joined us at an Italian place in Burlingame. Kaline was pretty excellent aside from some sniffing as we walked to the back of the restaurant. First we had a table by the kitchen, but Mom didn't like that location, so we went upstairs—where the AC was making an incessant, eardrum-collapsing rumble. You know that bad feeling you can get in your ears if your car windows are open just enough while you're going kinda fast? That feeling, only more. Instant major headache. So we moved again, and Kaline was very excellent matching my pace as we went down the stairs. Then he settled nicely at the table and mostly slept through dinner. He had his head on my feet a lot, which was awesome. And then after dinner I let the kids love on him, which made all of them quite happy.
At least on the job, I think my wee man is maturing. He can still be a bit of a hellion when he gets bouncy around the house, but when he's working, he's been doing really well.