Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ask Bart!

For new visitors: Bart writes an advice column (for dogs or humans). I will be posting some of his past columns for him here. You can also ask him a question and he will try to answer it here!

Dear Bart,
Why can't I have more cookies? My Mom seems to be very stingy when doling out the cookies around here. I know there are quite a few of us, but she only let's us have one at a time. My teeth are already falling out!!! She says there are new ones coming though, and too many cookies will not be good for them. But the cookies are the BEST!!!! They're right up there on the counter in a big jar.....should I go for it?

Dear Drooling,

Isn't it funny how the humans always feel the need to control the food in the house? They put our dinner out when they want us to eat, they hand out treats when they think we "deserve" them, like we are some kind of peons, and they tend to get angry when we help ourselves to the contents of the fridge or the kitchen counter.

The fact is, we have the right to any food we want. But in order to keep the humans under control, we need to provide them with the illusion that it is they, in fact, who are the ones in control. The food thing is one small way we must give them that illusion.

I do understand that you have needs. Desiring food is a natural thing, and for many of us, resisting the urge to help ourselves to what is rightfully ours is difficult. I have been known to binge on occasion, after having knocked over the food bins, spilling their contents on the kitchen floor. So, with that in mind, you have a few options. You can either "go for it" (as you put it) now, and earn yourself a reputation that you will not be able to shake, or you can lie low for now. The latter has some great advantages. Basically if you have the reputation of being "well-behaved," you can lull the humans into complacency, and they will be lax about leaving the really good food where you can get it. And then, instead of cookies, you might find yourself in a position to feast on filet mignon or something.

On the other hand, er, paw, once you eat that filet, your goose is cooked, and the humans will probably be much more careful with your (they would say “their”) food. So you may find a third option a good compromise.

It seems that if you are judicious in the food you "steal," the humans are much less concerned about it. Personally, while I enjoy cleaning out partially-empty pots and pans from the stovetop, it is much less stressful on the humans when I clean them out once they have been placed in the sink. You see, once they are in the sink, the humans really only intend for them to get washed out anyway, so really I am doing them a favor. Obviously if they were really concerned about me getting into the sink, they would not put any "dirty" dishes in there!

With a little thought you may be able to come up with an idea of your own which will not concern your Mom enough for her to stop you, which fits into your lifestyle and affords you good eating for years to come. Good luck!

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