What if you forget to feed your dog?

forget to feed your dogWhat 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.

7 replies
  1. Lydia
    Lydia says:

    Hi Danielle, thank you for your sharing of just your daily life. I share and value the commitment of living a life of consciousness and connection. This story of “hearing” and ” listening” to our fellow earth companions really strikes a note with me. My doberman girl Hira is 14 years old and in her closing earth chapter. She has been unable to stand for weeks so she’s entirely dependant on her humans. I worried at first as out of my 6 dogs and 2 cats, she’s the most quiet and undemanding. I worried about how I would know her needs. So I took time and had a talk with her and said to her that she could speak up and tell me what she needed because I needed her guidance too. And amazingly to what seemed out of character to her, she will talk in all her different words if she needs help with peeing, cleaning her bed if it’s soiled, dinner, water etc etc. And we have, even at this stage in her life, discovered yet another dimension to our relationship because she chose to use her voice when I also opened to listening.

  2. Elaine
    Elaine says:

    I enjoyed this email very much. My dog, Jake, starts giving me “the stare down” when it’s close to meal time so he hasn’t missed a meal yet. But I like how your dog showed up in your office and it reminded me how my dog appears when I am doing the 6 Light Calls. I say them aloud at no specifically designated time and when I am in different areas of the house or out on the porch. As I begin to say them, I look around and Jake is close by. He must love the energetic vibe. I certainly do. Thank you for sharing them as they are life changing!

  3. M.K. Terrell
    M.K. Terrell says:

    This posting possibly meant so much more to me than anything you’ve written. Perhaps because at 80 years old I realize I’ve “been there” so many times harboring feelings of never-ending guilt in the past 30 years. Thanks. Appreciate you sharing Tuukka’s viewpoint.

  4. Peter
    Peter says:

    This reminds me of the thoughts I was having a month or so back about the plants in our house. Do I notice before they are screaming for water. Am I careful not to over water. Are they in the best place for light and warmth (for each plants needs). Do they need food for the soil. I made a mental note to tune in more often and not take them all for granted quite so much.

  5. Marion
    Marion says:

    Hi Danielle-
    Thanks for sharing.
    Our animals are so vulnerable and dependent on us and the decisions we make.
    No amount of love can make us perfect or can guarantee we can get it right but my hope is that they
    know my intention.

  6. Dede MacLeod
    Dede MacLeod says:

    They are so trusting no and forgiving. I’ve had animals all my life and lives vet them all. But somehow this dog, whether it’s this specific time in life or that I am just more aware, has taught me so much about life and love. Sophie is my Border Collie. I’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old and she is now 10.

    The joy she brings me each and every day is beyond words. She is patient and kind and loving. She is fun and funny and looks with those gorgeous eyes of adoration.

    And while she is NOT a rescue, I often say, “she rescued me”. And she did.


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