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Down the Kibble Trail


 

            Butterfly wants to make our house a home. She does this with her art projects, and by scratching designs in the wood floors and the rugs, but most of all she makes our home her own by spreading kibble into every corner of the apartment. She loves her kibble. She treats each bite like a delicious piece of candy to be savored, and she makes sure to spread the smell of kibble all over her face, so that when she hunkers down to sleep next to me at night, I can share her joy.

"My kibble!"

“My kibble!”

"Can I eat now, Cricket?"

“Can I eat now, Cricket?”

            She doesn’t believe in just eating her food in the bowl, the way her sister, Cricket, does. Butterfly noses the kibble around, swishing it over the sides of the bowl, creating a kibble fountain. And then she chooses two or three pieces of kibble to eat on the rug, or bring to the bathroom door, or next to my bed, or into the kitchen. When it’s time to go out for a walk, she gulps a mouth full of kibble, dropping pieces like breadcrumbs down the stairs, and choking on the rest, as she runs for the door.

            It occurred to me, watching Butterfly’s kibble trail grow, that a lot of humans would appreciate her way of doing things too. Wouldn’t you feel more welcome at home if there was a trail of M&M’s leading to the living room, or peanut butter cups stashed between the books on your bookshelves?

A few months ago we had a visit from two toy terriers. They were fragile little dogs, and on very strict diets that did not include anything as daring as kibble, so we were careful to take the food bowls off the floor, and sweep up the kibble trail so they would not be tempted to hurt their sensitive tummies. But, of course, we couldn’t find everything. One of the little dogs, Milo, squished himself under the bookcase in the hallway, to get at what must have been stray kibble dust. Then he went over to the placemat where we keep the dog bowls and sniffed it centimeter by centimeter, lifting up the edges to see what he could find.

I swear, he really did get all the way under there.

I swear, he really did get all the way under there.

Milo is very thorough.

Milo is very thorough.

I can relate to this kibble fixation. I see food as comfort too. I’ve always wanted to have an open pantry or Swedish shelving where all of the food is easy to reach and clearly visible. Putting food behind opaque cabinet doors makes it harder for me to believe the food is really there. Some part of my brain is still mired in the Peek-A-Boo stage of development.

If I did not have to worry about weight, or cholesterol, or tummy trouble, I would like to have something like a rotating cake cabinet, like the ones they have at diners, set up in my dining room. I would fill it with homemade cakes, with Buttercream frostings, and chocolate ganache fillings, and marzipan, and lemon curd, and chocolate mousse. There would be seven layer cakes, and Babkas, and apple pies with lattice tops and whipped cream. If I could have that in my dining room, with everything visible at all times, brazenly dancing behind the glass, I think I would feel like I was in heaven.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Marzipan cake

Marzipan cake

Maybe I should find a way to make Butterfly’s kibble fountain spin?

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About rachelmankowitz

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

57 responses »

  1. That sounds just wonderful. I would like to have one of those rotating things too, and there has to be some sushi and sashimi and sea weed salad on it too and some smoothies. Yum!

    Reply
  2. A trail of Oreo Cookies would do it for me.. LoL
    (of course, that would be leading to that beautiful chocolate cake with the cream-cheese icing.. Mmmmm..!!

    Reply
    • I think I actually made a trail of Oreo cookies when I was a kid, but I used the fake ones with no chocolate, so when the dog inevitably ate her way up the trail, I didn’t get in so much trouble.

      Reply
  3. Rose does the exact same thing that Butterfly does when she steals food from her sister!

    Reply
  4. I’ve seen dogs that wouldn’t eat out of the bowl-they’d take it to a spot (always a carpet) and eat it there. I can’t fo that-the food wouldn’t last the trip to the carpet.

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  5. The cake pictures….Uh! Uh! Uh!, got any left overs?

    Reply
    • Just finished a chocolate Babka. A couple of slices of carrot cake left.

      Reply
      • Oh, my gosh! Chocolate babka, wow! How well I remember that from my years in New York. If only there were a way to get one here in rural northern California! While we’re at it, I think I need some hamantaschen (apricot and cherry), napoleons and charlotte ruses. No one here knows what those things are! I am so deprived. LOL

      • Chocolate Babka is awesome, especially homemade. It’s like a brioche dough slathered with chocolate chunks and twisted up. I’ve tried making Hamantaschen, but I can never get the dough right.

  6. that is so sweet of her!! truly!

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  7. I’d love a revolving cake stand in my lounge too and would include carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, cream slices, gateau, eclairs, sweets, fruit pastilles, marshmallows, chocolate brazils…… I could go on but I’d need a forklift to get it in!
    As for Butterfly taking her kibble for walks, it’s not unusual for us to find biscuits in the suite, our shoes or under our pillows. Our last dog would ‘hide’ his chews, end up, in doorways. Maggie on the other paw tends to cover hers (pretend) by nosing the carpet pile and then sitting in front of it as if savouring the moment, or ‘I don’t want it quite yet, but I’m just making sure no-one else pinches it’. Dogs are funny sometimes. Don’t we just love ’em?

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  8. This made me smile 🙂 I love reading about the exciting adventures of your pups; I cannot wait to have one (or two) of my own someday!

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  9. Ahhh, you had me at rotating cake cabinet. I bet Butterfly would love a spinning kibble fountain! Perhaps a fun DIY project for her Christmas present? 😉

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  10. Charley dogs agrees with savoring every bite of food and all the people food one can get his/her paws on! I like the idea of a rotating cake cabinet..

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  11. I LOVE your doggies and your blog ! thank u for stopping by …and ..lol…for leaving me hungry for chocolate. 🙂

    Nice to meetcha!

    – BABS

    Reply
  12. Between the description and photos, I am smitten with Butterfly. She just seems absolutely precious! I look forward to reading more. 🙂

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  13. “brazenly dancing behind the glass” – wonderful visual imagery! Mom has a chocolate fountain. I am imagining it running over with kibble….yum!

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  14. Now I’m dreaming of trails of M&Ms and peanut butter cups. This gave me a really good laugh. Thanks.

    Reply
  15. Ahhh yes, nothing like a ‘social’ canine, is there..? My Alaskan Mal (Anana) has always been one to stuff her muzzle into the food bowl, take a huge bit of her ‘Beneful Healthy Radiance’ and then walk to where I’m sitting, spit out her mouthful, lie down and slowly finish off the remainder. Of course she leaves a trail of her food where ever she goes! I regularly find small piles of her food in corners, under chairs, behind furniture and similar hiding places. Thankfully my GSD (Qanuk) will routinely run the food dish out and then wander around the house cleaning up all of Anana’s stashes. Nice to hear there are other canines out there so willing to ‘share’ their food! Love your postings; keep on ‘keepin’ on..!’

    Reply
    • My great aunt’s first reaction to this post was, “Ants!” Unfortunately, Cricket has no interest in following Butterfly around. She prefers to crawl into her bed and watch me with disdain as I do the cleaning up. Neither one of them appreciates the vacuum cleaner.

      Reply
  16. Our Chicki (Maltese cross) is somewhat like Butterfly in that she deposits kibble outside her bowl, and plays with it when it’s still in the dish.

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  17. How wonderful to have your dogs appreciate kibble. I have to ‘sex up’ Pearl and Millie’s kibble with meat, cheese or even fish before they’ll touch it.

    Reply
    • My mom used to put Parmesan cheese in Cricket’s food everyday, because Cricket had convinced her that the food would not be eaten otherwise. I tested that theory, and, while Cricket wouldn’t rush to her bowl as soon as she woke up, she did, eventually, eat her food. Cricket still hasn’t forgiven me.

      Reply
  18. Your writing really makes music in my brain.

    Reply
  19. I cannot feed mine together because Chienne would steal the Man’s food. I put his food down and stand – obediently – next to it, like any good waiter should. He comes, sniffs, walks in a circle round my legs – sniff – circle =sniff / several times, then he stops and eats. He goes through this ritual every day. Chienne just gets into it and if I fed them together, then as soon as the man left for his first circle, Chienne would have his food – he left it – it must be mine!! And yes, they do like a bit of Cheddar now and then..

    Reply
  20. This is a sweet post. I have tweeted it. 🙂

    Reply
  21. Tweeted this and another lovely post of yours 🙂

    Reply

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