Monday, 19 November 2012

The Perils of Pork Chops

So. Everyone's pretty familiar with the fact that dogs beg for food. Unless you have super magical well-trained pooches, chances are that yours will give you the big eyes whenever you're tucking into anything from a cheese sandwich to a slab of meatloaf. If you're eating, they want in. To be honest, Mollie isn't TOO bad with this kind of thing. Bingo is much worse, sitting right beside you, big, sad eyes in full effect, and even the drooling to top it all off.

He probably didn't even realise I was giving him a ponytail. He only has eyes for my dinner in this moment.
 It's a routine we're all used to in my household. Sometimes Mollie will want in, it really depends on what you're eating. But you can bet that both are going to be giving the Sunday roast FULL attention. This post is all about that.

My parents sent over a load of pictures recently. Most of them were the dogs begging.
 So, when the weather is colder, my parents prove themselves to be very British indeed and cook up a roast dinner every Sunday. It's amazing. Being out in Canada at this moment, and with minimal cooking skills myself (a boiled egg is considered a culinary triumph), it's something that I miss. You've got the constants: the roast potatoes, the vegetables. Then the meat of choice, which varies from chicken to pork to beef. We seldom have turkey. I don't know why, I guess because it's such a *christmas* thing. But then you have the meat accompanist, which if it's chicken, you get stuffing. With pork, it's crackling. With beef it's yorkshire puds. Of course, no one can forget the gravy. Bish bash bosh, there's the highlight of a dreary Sunday. I really need to stop describing food now, because maaaan, it's making me hungry.

"No really, tell us more."
 Anyhow, so awesome roast is awesome. The dogs are well aware of this and position themselves accordingly next to whoever they think has a malleable spine and is more likely to give into the 'give me food, for I am a poor starving pooch' routine. To be fair, it's usually me. But sometimes, when she's not busy, my nan, bless her, will come over and enjoy the day with us. My parents are probably missing me right now because I'm usually the one to take her home at the end of the day so they can enjoy a few glasses of wine.

SO. Onwards with the Mollie tale. So, when she's in the mood for begging, she will sit patiently. For about five minutes. After that, she'll occasionally let out a small, high pitched half-bark (see: the fox post part one for a barking guide). This is quite a non-threatening sound that is designed to remind you that Mollie is in fact, right there beside you and wanting in on your food. If this does not work, a short growl is uttered in order to gently urge you to give over some food as Mollie is growing impatient. I should remark that it doesn't go any further than this, as she knows not to push her luck too much. But she may bark a little more at you. I should also mention that during all of this, Bingo is silent.

Now she's a little older she knows how to work the puppy-eyes. A lesson that we can all learn from.
It's especially funny to watch my mum get annoyed at this and tell her to be quiet, which is usually not effective. But the usual course of things is that they do get a couple of merciful table scraps, which although doesn't do anything to curb her bad table behaviour, it's something we don't mind doing.

But this is nothing compared to what happened one day when my nan came over and Mollie was still in full fledged puppy mode. Though she was still growing, at a year old she was big enough to know the ropes of the household routines, and manipulate them to her will. Picture the scene: the family goes to sit with a steaming hot plate of pork chops and other yummy things. You want in, right? So did Mollie, and begging wasn't on her to-do list that day.

Sometimes, she really does have more important things to do.
 She sat, patiently beside my nan as we sat and ate, talking about various current events and whatever else families talk about on a sunday. Mollie still sat, waiting, watching, thinking. In the throes of conversation, about halfway through the meal, she spotted her opportunity and did she ever take it. She reared up on both hind legs, stretched out her neck and effortlessly swiped the half-eaten pork chop straight off of my nan's plate. My nan half shrieked, half laughed, because really, what else is there to do? My dad stood up and chased her as she gleefully sped off with her winnings. I don't know what he expected to achieve with this course of action, whether he was going to wrestle it from her and plop it back down on her plate with an accomplished look on his face remains a question for the ages, I really just think he was acting from instinct until she bolted out into the garden, running laps and shaking the poor, mangled chop from side to side in her mouth while we watched in disbelief at the amount of cheek this little puppy had.

This isexacty what a victory lap looks like. The item in her mouth is interchangeable.
 Fortunately, there is a happy ending for my nan, as we did have a spare pork chop in the oven. But I will never forget the way she reared up and stole that hunk of meat. Though, to be fair, she has never done anything as cheeky as that since. At least with food. I suppose that one day she felt that the class-divide between dogs and humans had gone far enough, and by gum, she was going to show us. I guess she did. We definitely keep one eye on the food, and one eye on the cheeky springer sitting by our side now.

Even the barbecues aren't safe.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Don't forget to stop by Pet Blogs United next week for a week of giveaways.

    Nubbin wiggles,