The Daughter And The Dog Food

Cody is our miniature schnauzer, our little boy that we've had since May of 2004. He was totally here first, so we were going to try not to change too much about his life just because we decided to add a baby to it. That was the plan.

However, that's unrealistic and unavoidable when you have a baby and a pet (at least for us) but there was no way to KNOW that until we experienced it. You couldn't tell us that things would change with the dog after the baby arrived. No way. Cody was our baby. He was our boy.

Now, he's the dog that's threatened with death and a life in the backyard when he barks while Ellen is napping. Or threatens to bark. That's the truth. He's the dog. He fights for his attention, he's often in the middle of everything and at times, his saving grace is that Ellen adores him. Ellen will laugh at Cody when nothing else is funny. She'll follow him around the house to see what he's doing and ANY TIME she hears him at his food or water bowl, there's no distracting her. She's right there.

We keep Cody's food out in the open, in an area easily accessed by a curious toddler. Why? Because it wasn't a problem when she wasn't walking and she has never shown an interest in the food by itself until recently. Also, Cody has never had a set time to eat. He eats when he wants and it has always worked. Rather than attempt to modify his eating habits, we're attempting to teach our child some discipline.

Recently, Ellen will walk over to the food bowl and stand there and stare at it. It's clear she understands that she isn't supposed to touch it - because she doesn't bend down and reach for it. We've covered this many times. But she wants to touch it. So she stands there. Thinking. She's now come up with a new plan. She reaches out for it with her foot. She extends her little, socked foot out to brush the edge of the dog food bowl, testing us.

My one-year-old is trying to get around the rules with a technicality. I can't wait until she's sixteen.


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