Aussie doesn’t get table scraps, but I do give her veggie bits when I’m chopping up fresh veggies. You know, that tough end of the zucchini or those bits of tomato that are a bit green and hard? Or the slightly bitter ends of the celery stalk? Aussie’s jaws make short work of them and according to the vet, they’re good for her. Perfectly edible, but they just don’t taste very good or are difficult for us humans to digest. But they don’t bother the dog and she loves them. When we were trying to get her weight down to the minimum possible and have her still be healthy to put less pressure on her legs and back, the vet told me to cut her food in half and give her salt-free canned or frozen (thawed of course) veggies as filler. And he recommended baby carrots instead of dog biscuits. But those aren’t table scraps. She gets treats, but not table scraps. No human food leftovers at home. I really don’t consider giving her veggies spoiling. Or the treats I used to train her. She’s loved, but there’s discipline and she’s well trained (which is constantly reinforced). I believe Cesar Milan would call her a “balanced dog” rather than spoiled.
Not so when we visit family. My entire family spoils my dog. My entire family. Grandmother gives her “great grand-dog” pieces of apple and carrot. My aunt’s husband gave her pieces of ham because she “politely and patiently waited” while he cleaned the meat off the bone. Patiently waited. Mind you, this is because I trained her not to beg, but to lie quietly out of the way when food was involved. My aunt saved the bits of ham slice edges to give to Aussie after dinner each night. She got bits of Christmas dinner leftovers [ok, special occasion, and I was the culprit in this case, but nothing bad for her like sweets or onions, which are toxic]. And I know people gave her other bits when I wasn’t looking. Bits because “she’s just such a good dog.” [These people obviously don’t live with her if they believe she’s good all the time…]
Then there was her Christmas haul. Santa brought her a rawhide bone, peanut butter flavored (her favorite). But she also had her own gifts to open. My cousin and his wife gave her a big bag of fancy treats. My aunt gave her a new squeaky stuffed toy (which she will rip into and pull out all the stuffing and then run around with the “shell” for weeks). I explicitly told my grandmother to NOT get her anything this time, that I would bring a bone for her, as last year she gave Aussie lots of treats PLUS a big rawhide bone.
Then there was what my mom sent her grand-dog. When I walked in the house with that package from her Aussie wouldn’t let me move until she had inspected every side of the box thoroughly. It took a good 10 minutes of nose work before I could finish walking through the living room and put the box down on the table. Mom had apologized ahead of time for the squeaky toy she sent, but there was more. Oh yes, there was quite a bit more. A chicken flavored “health bone” with all sorts of vitamins and minerals in it. Aussie enjoyed that on Christmas Eve.
The Rogz squeaky toy is named “Rogzette.” Rogzette is a “sportimal” K9 beauty and surfer queen. That’s what the label says. She looks kind of like a cross between a dog and a rat, but with no tail, pink spiky hair and a pink bikini. The most disturbing aspect of Rogzette is the little knot of silver thread that’s supposed to be a belly-button ring. And no, I’m not joking. Nor did I make Rogzette up. Go look for yourself. Aussie has managed to kill the squeaker, and is now working on ripping her apart and gutting her. She’s currently trying to rip the pink bikini bra top off to get at the stuffing.
But perhaps the most interesting gift from my mom were the two packages of strange brown objects that smelled very good to Aussie. So I read the labels. Roo heart. Lamb puff. Lamb ears. Beef hide. OMG. Lamb puff? WTF is that? [I don’t recommend Googling it by the way…unless you enjoy being disturbed] I asked my mom about these two little bundles when we talked on Christmas. They’re very common dog treats in Australia. I guess kind of like pig ears here in the U.S. But still, um, yeah. And no, I still haven’t opened them and given any to Aussie. I can’t decide if I’m disturbed by them or not. And frankly I’m afraid of how they might smell.
Aussie will never lack for treats and spoiling as long as my family is around. Never ever. By the time we get through this year’s haul it will be Christmas again and we’ll have a whole new set of treats and toys! Yes, Aussie is one spoiled puppy. Secretly? I admit I think she probably deserves/earns it.