Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ali's New Eating Habits

Until last weekend, Ali had not even tasted a morsel of "people food." He was strictly Science Diet twice a day, with an occasional treat if he actually obeyed our commands.

Everything changed when we took him to our friends' house in Athens and they were, perhaps, not quite as good about cleaning up their floor. Ali spent the first hour licking every square inch of the linoleum, and then wandered back for another cleaning every couple of hours after that. Not only that, but he also had his first taste of canned dog food. Due to some wild storms and tornadoes, Jonathan and I ended up staying an extra night. Having not brought enough food for dinner that night, we had no choice but to feed him 2 cans of Fillet Mignon $.67 dog food. He was in doggy heaven to say the least.

When we returned to Atlanta, everything went back to normal, except that Jonathan and I had the idea that maybe Ali could manage spending the day by himself in the apartment outside of the crate. (It pained us to lock him up every time we left.) The first few days went well. Minus Ali's wailing (I kid you not--he wails) at passing by dogs, there were no problems. He has his own chair, a bone, a rope toy, and a stuffed animal we labeled his "best friend" to keep him company.

Then, it all started going downhill. Wednesday I returned home to find his best friend's (an orange tiger to replace the sheep he dismembered the week before) insides scattered across the floor in front of his chair with his eyes and nose no where to be found. I removed the rest of his stuffing while Ali watched inquisitively. Two hours later, his best friend's insides were again scattered all across the floor, and this time, the tiger's face had completely disappeared as well. I figured I'd let Ali destroy this one, and not replace it--we can't really afford new best friends every few days.

Thursday, Jonathan and I were in the other room and suddenly we both realized Ali had been surprisingly quiet. We went out into the main room to find 3 of our shoes piled up in front of Ali's chair, Ali happily munching away at the back of my leather shoe. He got in trouble, and I duct-taped my shoe back together.

Not being ones to learn lessons quickly, we "dog-proofed" the house last night and set out for trivia. We came home to a bright orange mess on the floor. As we looked closer, we discovered the traces of the mango Jonathan left zipped up in his backpack. All that was left of it was a portion of the pit. We can only assume all of the skin, flesh, and most of the pit are now passing through Ali's digestive system.

This morning we finally learned our lesson. After being gone only a few hours we returned home. Our mouths dropped open, and Ali cowered when he realized what kind of trouble he was going to get into. The entire contents of Jonathan's backpack had been scattered across the house--including his books, papers, and even his laptop. Ali was sitting in a pile of shredded bamboo (my laptop bag from Thailand), a library book missing the corner and the plastic, the remnants of a Tupperware container (forgotten food in J's bag again), and had polished off at least 1/4C. of spicy salsa, not forgetting to splash it on the wall as well.

All that said, Ali got in trouble and spent awhile in timeout while Jonathan and I vowed to send him back to the crate for good (or until we forget how frustrating it was for him to ruin our things).

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