Scout is a happy, well-adjusted 13 year-old Boykin Spaniel who might not be able to see or hear as well as she once might have. Food is often on her mind and her sense of smell hasn’t betrayed her ability to raid a trashcan in the dark of night.
I often have a lot to say about other people’s dogs. This is in itself should be worrisome but not unexpected given my family history.
My mother had a lot to say about other people’s dogs.
Usually that they looked hungry.
She was mostly Greek, had married into a large Italian family and food was always on her mind.
My mother tried to feed every living thing that came within a square-mile of our house whether it was hungry or not.
She would feed the squirrels, rabbits, lost children, and stray birds. The men who took our trash never left without sandwiches. Escaped convicts, on the run, could count on a meal at our home before the cops came.
They look hungry babe, she would say.
Beginning in the 1970’s, my brother lived next door and spent many a hard earned dollar on the healthiest dog food he could find for his prized Irish Setter puppy.
When the dog began to gain weight, he spent more on fancy food and restricted her diet, extracting pledges from my mom not to feed her while he was at work.
The more he restricted her diet, exercised her and pleaded with my mother, the more weight she gained and the more money he spent on fancy food and so on.
Despite promises, our mother simply could not be trusted.
She looked hungry, she would say as she tossed the penned-up girl table scraps, peanut butter sandwiches and leftover pasta.
My brother would come home and storm off between the two houses, broke, with his overweight dog, reluctantly dragging behind.
A gal like Scout would have gotten along well with my mother, I can hear her now, she looks hungry.