What if you forget to feed your dog?
I forgot to feed my dog and here’s what happened (it’s cool!)
Yesterday morning at about 5am, my dog Tuukka climbed on to the bed to greet Kevin and I good morning. This is her normal routine. She hates sleeping with us because we take up too much room on the bed.
As she was getting comfortable I heard her stomach gurgle. Loudly. Then again. And again. Kevin said, “Is that her stomach?” and we agreed that it was. I began imagining the swath of dog diarrhea that was probably lurking downstairs on my good rug.
“I wonder what she ate?” questioned Kevin. I had no idea as she never gets into the trash. As we lay there trying to figure it out, I asked Kevin, “Did you feed her last night?” and he said he hadn’t. Neither had I.
Wide-eyed, we said to each other, “You forgot to feed your dog?” No wonder her tummy was growling like that! She hadn’t eaten since breakfast the day before!
Bad Bog Parents?
Weirdly, she never asked for her food. Not once. Bella, our dog before Tuukka, would start barking every night at 5:59pm (dinner was at 6pm). But Tuukka didn’t say a word.
Now, while I feel absolutely terrible for forgetting to feed my dog, this started me down another path thinking about how many animals out there are also not vocal about their needs. And thinking about how vulnerable animals are to the whims and wills of us humans – whether they are our pets, animals in captivity, or animals in the wild.
And how important it is for us, as dog parents, to not get caught up in our day-to-day and let something like that happen.
My Dog Lesson
Later that day at work, while teaching a webinar classes, I continued to mull over the vulnerability of all of these animals, so dependent on humans. What could I do to help them? How could I save them all and what could be done to fix this whole situation… I started beating myself up. I needed to be doing more than I was and should be more vocal in the world…
And then Tuukka showed up in my office. She never comes up the two flights of stairs to see me when I’m working. NEVER.
She started rubbing against my legs, rolling around on the floor, making loud gagging sounds with her mouth. Then she put her head on my lap and stayed there for quite a while.
Tuukka showed up in my office to give me love, because I wasn’t giving it to myself. I was beating myself up for forgetting to feed her. I was blowing it up into a whole “I’m failing at saving the world!” thing.
Animals Get it
Tuukka… she was over it. She loved me no matter what – whether I was successful or not, whether I fed her correctly or not… She reminded me what unconditional love feels like just by being there for me.
She stopped me from saying again and again, “You forgot to feed your dog” and instead gave me exactly what I needed in that moment.