I guess it was inevitable. The dog is off the wagon again.
Her drug of choice? Bacon-flavored dog snacks.
Last summer, I stopped buying her favorite treat. After all, it doesn’t take much for a squat, old Beagle to gain weight, particularly one that is all nose and stomach. I feared that the smell of bacon flavored strips in the house would drive her insane and removed the temptation. At the age of sixteen, I believe that she’s ready to go to the Great Beyond and if we let her out without her leash, she would do what a lot of old dogs do….find a spot under a tree and take an eternal nap. Dogs are smarter than humans, after all. They totally get how important having a good quality of life is. In fairness to humans, I suppose a lot of older people would do the same thing, given the opportunity.
But then, last week, the Male who lives here went grocery shopping and came home with more Beagle Crack and Maggie’s dietary downward spiral started all over again. Because, here’s the deal. She doesn’t just like bacon flavored strips. She ADORES bacon flavored strips in a way that borders on a canine religious experience.
And so, we keep the bag up high in the pantry and dole the gross, pink planks of fake bacon out sparingly. Some afternoons, I find her alone in the kitchen, in solemn prayer, in front of the pantry door. She is a hopeful soul. Each evening, when I start dinner, she waddles in and assumes the position, waiting, hoping that I will open the magic door, reach up to the top shelf, and present her with what her heart so desires. She tries to use telepathy by staring at me, too, her sad, beagle eyes imploring me to “open the door…..open the door…oh, please….open the door” as I move from the fridge to the sink on the other side of the kitchen. She thumps her tail on the hard linoleum if I open the pantry to grab a can of something or other that has nothing to do with bacon. Her ears perk up and she watches every move I’m making. If I finish whatever I’m doing and close the door without reaching high for the bag of dog treats, her ears droop and the tail quits thumping and she sighs, loudly, so that I’m sure to understand just how disappointed in me she truly is.
This week we will all begin a bright new year. There will be a lot of resolutions made on New Year’s Eve that will more than likely be broken by President’s Day. The only one I’m making this year is to take that bag of bacon flavored strips down from the shelf more often in order to give an old dog a little joy in whatever time remains for her.
After all, I can think of a lot of worse ways to go than death by bacon.
Particularly for a beagle such as ours.
Happy New Year!