RSS Feed

Walking The Bread Gauntlet

 

One of my neighbors, I’m not sure which one, believes that the tiny birds in our communal backyard will enjoy huge crusts of French bread that would suffocate a goose. We live in an apartment complex and share this backyard with a lot of people we rarely see. And Cricket makes sure to bark at anyone who dares to be outside, so I feel bad complaining about anyone else’s foibles. But the scattering of bread felt like a field of landmines to me. The last time the French bread was thrown out into the backyard was over the winter, when we discovered that my other dog, Butterfly, is diabetic.

The bread in the grass.

The bread in the grass.

Putting white bread in front of Butterfly would be like leaving bowls of whiskey in front of an alcoholic dog.

Butterfly loves the food she’s allowed to eat. She loves her chicken treats and kibble and chew sticks. It’s just that, if I am sitting on the couch eating a piece of pizza, she will stretch until she can reach the pizza and try to chew off the side of the crust. She is very short, but white flour gives her magical powers.

Butterfly is finding bread...

Butterfly is finding bread…

Everywhere!

Everywhere!

Cricket was interested in the bread too, but not more than she was interested in the squirrels, and the birds, and the sticks. When I pulled Cricket away from a piece of the bread, she basically shrugged and said, “whatever,” and moved on to try to rip my arm out of the socket as she ran towards a squirrel who was already miles out of her reach.

A conference is required to sniff this bread.

“Look, Cricket, bread is falling from the sky!”

Of course, my first thought when I saw the bread scattered on the lawn was to do a blog post about it. So Mom brought her camera and I brought the girls and we had to pose Butterfly close enough to the bread to show the temptation, but not so close that she could actually eat the bread. Of course, she gobbled a piece down before I could pull her away.

"Mine!"

“Mine!”

I don’t know what to make of my behavior here. I was worried about Butterfly being tempted by the bread and falling into a sugar coma and dying in front of me, and yet, another part of me just kept thinking – blog post!

The bread was gone by the end of that day, and it hasn’t returned. I have no idea who was tossing the bread out there, but it’s possible that they were watching me and Mom and the girls out on the lawn feverishly trying to get pictures, and decided to scoop the bread back up. Or, the maintenance guys saw the bread and grumbled about how they could possibly mow around these stupid obstacles, and picked them all up and threw them in the garbage.

I didn’t even realize how anxious the bread gauntlet had made me feel until it was gone. Not having to grip Butterfly’s leash in a fist made the bread-free walk, even in the heat, almost blissful.

And yet, I almost wish the bread gauntlet, with its connotations of manna from heaven, would return. I don’t want Butterfly to get sick, but the glee on her face when she sees those magical pieces of bread is overwhelming and, selfishly, I want to see that look again. Is there such a thing as low sugar manna from heaven?

 

"More!"

“More!”

About these ads

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

89 responses »

  1. Rachel, that’s a title that leaves one no choice but to read this post. Nicely done!

    Reply
  2. For my mastiff Emmy it is the disgusting bones that other dogs in the neighbourhood leave out on our running trail. She knows they will make her feel sick, but she can’t resist the ripe and repulsive smell of a pre-loved bone.

    Reply
  3. I’m sorry but I started laughing from the moment you said, “Blog post!” because I think a lot of us can relate. I sacrificed the comfort of a bunch of ducks at the lake by letting my terrier get somewhat close to them (no ducks, or dog, hurt in the process) just to get a blog post. A sign of the times, I suppose :-)

    Reply
  4. A neighbor in our street throws bread out on the green; but only in the summer when there is so much else for birds to feed upon. In winter she never does! I don’t complain because crows take most of it, and I number a crow among my closest friends. Honey resents it deeply if we throw bread out in our garden. She regards anything edible out there as her personal property and any bird that dares take advantage of her when she is indoors gets the full benefit of her tongue!

    Reading your very interesting post I wondered just how a dog regards its leash? On the one hand it symbolizes the walk and all that glorious anticipation, on the other it represents restriction and hindrance. I had a dog once who used to chew up his leads. I think maybe I know why.

    Reply
    • When the backyard is bread-free I sometimes let Butterfly run off leash, or with her leash dragging behind her. She’s fine with it, unless it falls over her back, and then all bets are off and she can’t concentrate at all. Somehow her friendly leash has suddenly become a vicious enemy!

      Reply
  5. There are certain parts of town that I dread taking Mollie down as they are liberally festooned with pavement snacks, particularly on a Saturday and Sunday morning. She treats it as an all you can eat buffet…

    Reply
  6. I bet all dogs like to walk the way of bread like Hansel&Gretel in that fairy tale, but it’s better to stay away from free food :o) but after all it’s interesting our first thought is: oh great for a blog post…. :o) what have we thought before we had a blog? I can’t remember :o)

    Reply
  7. Our neighbour used to put chunks of bread on her bird table but when trying to carry them off, the birds dropped them on our side of the fence. Luckily, Maggie never took a liking to it, and as for a bone? She has no idea what to do with one!

    Reply
  8. It is hard not to want to much goodies, I think momwithoutpaws would rather me eat the bread instead of all the poop, either way She would be upset also

    Reply
  9. You’re a good Mom.

    Reply
  10. We often refer to Buster the Schnauzer as ‘the fart king’ , a nicknamed earned because of what happens if he swallows anything besides his organic, over-priced kibble. That said, I have been known to give him meat scraps and suffer the subsequent stench just to see him shake and shimmy in delight!

    Reply
  11. I’m glad I’m not dependent on the generosity of humans. I eat anything, this morning it was some bird droppings that could have stood some garlic and salt but I ate them anyway. It’s my way to help the environment-recycling.

    Reply
  12. My neighbor used to leave old bread for the squirrels. That was before she noticed that they have gnawed on her tree branches, and now they may loose some limbs!

    Reply
  13. One of my neighbors puts bread out too and while I don’t have the diabetic worry you have, it draws wild critters which ultimately could hurt the pooches from the area. Raccoons, foxes and an occasional coyote could pose omnious consequences if they bit Sam. It’s always important to be vigilent when our fur baby’s health is concerned. It’s easy to think “what a great topic” something would be for the blog. Funny how blogging tends to open our eyes wide to potential posts. :)

    Reply
    • We have a neighbor who leaves out food for the feral cats in the neighborhood and, shockingly, we have a lot of feral cats around here. But they are entertaining, especially for the dogs. Cricket keeps trying to climb the retaining wall to catch a cat. We might need to do a blog post about that….

      Reply
  14. so you pose Cricket and Butterfly…strictly for blog purposes?! Oh, Rachel–I laughed so hard at that. Too funny! I love your captions. This was a great post.

    Reply
  15. We have to keep our away from bread so chunks on the lawn would be awful. Good post i enjoyed reading it.

    Reply
  16. It surprises me that someone would throw food for any animal on property that isn’t theirs. To make an assumption that what they are doing will be appreciated by the community is absurd. If they chose to do it on their own property, that would be something different, but on community property — there is no excuse.

    Bell does eat bones. She has several that she gnaws on and it keeps her teeth peatly white. On occasion she will take them in our backyard and leave them there. Several other dogs in our neighborhood are allowed to roam free and use our backyard as their personal toilet. Their owners never pick up after them and have even gone so far as to deny that “their” dog would do that. When their dog took one of Bell’s bones and the neighbor had the nerve to complain, I told them that on my property I can do whatever I want and that they should keep their dog on their property. I don’t drop bones in other peoples yards or even have them in the front yard where other dogs might roam while being walked. In my yard though, it’s a different story.

    The point I’m trying to make, is that if the bread dropper feels compelled to leave bread out for the birds, they should do it on their own property where they will not infringe on anyone else.

    Reply
  17. Aawwww how cute; you are only being a normal human being. To see those facial expressions that you know so well can lead us to temptation:)

    Reply
  18. That last picture is beyond precious!!!!

    Reply
  19. I feel for Butterfly! It must be like having a box of one’s favourite chocolates within arm’s reach and not allowed to take a bite…
    Sweet pictures, anyway :)

    Reply
  20. I would have no worries with Chancy and bread he don’t show an interest in it but there are many other things that would pose a problem. Luckily we have a large fenced yard and we do all of our walking, playing and running in the yard. I had never thought of posing him or the cats for blog purposes, good idea I might have to give that a try sometime. Love that last picture, so adorable! Hugs

    Reply
  21. A diabetic dog and bread is a worry but the main issue is that bread put out for any animal, birds especially, is downright wrong. It does no good for their guts if dry and isn’t an appropriate food type. Giving bread to some birds is fine if it is soaking wet and therefore just about digestible. Hope the idiot has been dissuaded!

    Reply
    • So now I know for next time, if I see the bread out there I should run out and douse it with water! I think that would make it less interesting to the dogs, and if the birds decide to try it, they at least won’t die. Thank you!

      Reply
  22. Bahaha, this is too funny, Rachel!! Look at that face!! More bread, Mommy! More bread! <3

    Reply
  23. I don’t know about bread but if my neighbors start leaving beer around the lawn areas I am a goner. Seriously, though, food on the ground can be a threat – Max is a real scrounger who can chicken bones in the bushes and fast food leftovers in the curbs. I have to watch him like a hawk.

    Reply
    • Cricket once found chicken bones, a bag full, out on one of our walks. It must have fallen out of a garbage can somewhere along the way. She was not happy when I dragged her away from her treasure.

      Reply
  24. I so enjoy reading your posts! I always find myself thinking … “and then what happened?”

    Reply
  25. Not sure how accurate this information is but maybe worth a research:

    Nature’s Own Sugar Free

    http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/natures-own/100%25-whole-grain-sugar-free-bread

    Reply
  26. When I walk Jack, I have to watch him like a hawk because he will eat anything. If there was a bread trail, I would be hard pressed keeping him away! Your girls have such personalities. :D

    Reply
  27. For a moment there I thought you had a photo of me on your blog. Then I realised Butterfly and I must be related – we both look soooo cute! Loving woofs from KoKo http://www.kokosdogblog.com

    Reply
  28. hahahaha when in doubt, get out the camera!!! it’s magic :)

    Reply
  29. Your dig us adorable. I have two dogs and love them dearly. They are like our kids.

    Reply
  30. if you make bread with French flour and honey, it eradicates both gluten and sugar problems/allergies/intolerance, as French wheat doesn’t seem to affect those who are gluten intolerant, and neither does honey affect those who have a sugar problem, (both animals and humans). Honey is in fact, as you know a great natural healer. I have recommended and implemented these exchanges for years with both animals and humans, resulting in amazing results. Maybe worth a try? X

    Reply
  31. I was a little surprised to hear about the chunks of bread. I would imagine anyone attempting to feed birds would ask about putting up a communal bird table with feeders etc. Throwing bread on the ground is a bit idiotic.
    They were great pictures of Butterfly and Cricket. They are always smiling out from your pages whenever I visit your site.

    Reply
    • We have another neighbor who put up a sweet little birdhouse, and visits the birds she feeds there. It takes all kinds. I’m just happy to see my girls smiling and well and NOT eating chunks of french bread from the lawn. Now chicken treats sprouting from the ground, that would be a whole other thing.

      Reply
  32. God bless you monitoring the diabetes like that: my friend Peg also has to do it and you all are to be commended. I am **knocking wood** hoping we don’t have to cross this path.

    Reply
    • It has become this ridiculously happy time of day for us around here, so I don’t know how bad we feel about it anymore. Both girls are now smiling and twirling every time they see signs of blood tests and insulin shots coming along. Who knew?

      Reply
  33. Nice post, bread and pizza…. my favorite subjects!!! Your dogs look nice too, but I am afraid they are not fast enough for me to enjoy a nice running game? Maybe they would if I would run in front of them with a good slice of pizza between my teeth? That would make nice pictures, too… I’ll suggest this to M. Greetings!

    Reply
  34. That picture on the bottom is so cute and happy! :)

    Reply
  35. Butterfly is pretty Adorable!

    Reply
  36. I like to spread the word about your lovely posts, and I’ve just tweeted this one and another :)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,264 other followers

%d bloggers like this: