I’ve noticed that I tend to focus—some might say obsess—over things when the writing is clunking along like a car missing a wheel. But I don’t sweat feverishly over the words, the turns of phrase, the story arc. No. I panic about the pooch.
For those who haven’t met the pup, he’s the happiest little thing on four paws: tongue always a wag, ready for cozies at a moment’s notice. He is the personification of joy and love.
So when he doesn’t eat with his usual pup verve (and, ok, I’m in the thick of a tricky edit), I grow a tad worried. Nothing major, mind you. I just wonder if everything’s ok with his gastrointestinal business. That’s all.
Cool-as-cucumber husband will entertain my cursory concern for a day or so with an “Oh,” and “Uh huh,” unwilling to feed the beast that is my worry monster. But the worry monster demands to be fed. Another day passes and I’m still blathering on about how the pup isn’t running to his dish. Another day, another serving of my worry monologue. It will continue like this for days.
Of course, I eventually come to my senses and realize that it’s the dish! So I try out a new dish. Four different new dishes. No, it’s not the dish. I’m being ridiculous. It’s the food! I buy a new bag of food. So foolish, because clearly the pup wants a little moisture on his dry kibbles! So I start sprinkling water over top his food, setting it down with a magnificent TaDa!
Pup just looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind.
Which, of course, I haven’t, because I know he’s not interested in his food because I haven’t done an enticing enough dance for him before meal time. I haven’t sang to him his Chompy Chomp song in just the right key to whet his appetite. It’s all wrong!
After 10 days of this, husband calmly suggests that perhaps the pup just eats a little less now that he’s exiting the puppy phase of development.
No, it’s the song and dance routine that’s all wrong. That and the moisture content. I start leaving the dish a little damp—not too damp, mind you, just a little damp—in hopes that this will tip the balance of the million variables that determine whether or not Precious Pup eats.
Husband suggests that I talk to my sister-in-law. She’s the family Dog Whisperer, so whatever she was going to tell me would crack this mystery for sure. Sister-in-law/Dog Whisperer suggests that maybe it’s the time of day that I was sprinkling water on the food that was all wrong. No wait, it’s the outfit I was wearing at the time of said sprinkling. Scratch that. It’s more likely that the moon was in the third house and when that astrological phenomenon takes place, dogs just don’t eat.
I think that last one was sarcasm.
Naturally, my next step is to take the pup to the vet. Surely she will feed my worry monster! The vet looks at me, gives the pup a full and thorough examination, then says he’s fine. She even weighs him—he’s exactly where he was two months ago. The vet takes his temp; it’s A-OK. Then she says that the pup is perfectly healthy and is probably only eating a bit less because he’s exiting the puppy phase of development.
And then I realize it. It cannot be more clear: Husband and the vet are in cahoots.
Not to mention I still have a load of editing to do.