Friday 18 February 2011

More Adventures of Frodo the Faller - Thieving!

Just as I was beginning to think Frodo was finally growing up to be a trustworthy dog he let me down again.

I had got into the habit – a bad one, as it turns out – of leaving the bucket of frozen dog food in the butler sink in the kitchen. At this time of year its usual resting place in the garage is so cold that the meat takes a very long time to thaw. The animals don’t seem to mind chewing chilly lumps of meat full of ice crystals but I don’t like handling it. Even though I wear gloves the cold bites through to my fingers and as I have to cut it into manageable pieces for Frodo it’s almost unbearable. I’ve tried giving him large lumps of meat but he gulps them down without much chewing and then it’s anyone’s guess whether they will remain where they’ve been consigned or be returned to sender.

Therefore I adopted the habit of putting a bowl of meat on top of the larder freezer. It’s more than six feet tall so there’s no chance of the dogs reaching it and Winston shows no inclination to leap up to investigate it. However, I couldn’t find a container suitable for five pound packages of animal flesh and didn’t relish putting the pail on the freezer. Being essentially lazy and always in a hurry I rarely use a step stool, preferring to stretch to reach things. I’m reasonably tall so it’s no great accomplishment. But attempting to retrieve a large container of fleisch (that German word is so perfect – I love it!)  would be tempting fate and I had no desire for a raw meat shampoo and shower.

It had been some months since I had put anything remotely edible or lickable in the butler sink and so Frodo had dropped the habit of checking it several times a day. I thought – well, I didn’t think, really! – he had lost interest and was a reliable and well-behaved Dalmatian at last. (Is there such an animal?) The first couple of days of butler sink usage went very well. Frodo didn’t appear to be in the least interested in where his food was being defrosted. I relaxed – always a mistake when in the company of greedy canines.
Some of you may recall that Frodo is my Velcro dog; he’s happiest when he’s close to me or at least in the same room. He slumbers the days away, only stirring when the worms begin to bite or he hears the faintest sound of the fridge opening or bread being cut. Because of the daily anti-epileptic drugs he takes he is occasionally quite ataxic, tripping over dust motes and finding his front and back legs won’t coordinate but sometimes he can move stealthily and unobserved and so he did the other day.

It wasn’t very long before I became aware of the unmistakeable sound of a dog wolfing down food. It was long enough, however, for Frodo to consume almost four pounds of minced lamb and tripe and the accompanying wrappers. Roaring at him to desist, which did absolutely no good whatsoever, I arrived in the kitchen to find a bulbous dog, looking guilty but still trying to siphon up the last few shreds of meat. He was dispatched in  disgrace to the garden and I looked around for alternative food for the starving Labradors. (Winston doesn’t care for tripe so he was unaffected by the sudden disappearance of supper into Frodo.)

I anticipated a busy night with canine and human sleep being disturbed, but Frodo slept like a baby – well, a puppy – all night, despite the rumblings and whistlings emanating from him. He was on short rations the next day when he finally assumed his normal, more sylph-like shape.

So, now it’s back to freezing fingers from arctic meat. 
Winston can also be sly and skilful in the food stakes. I don’t often give him dried food- it’s not very good for cats and can cause urinary tract and kidney problems among other things – but I like to give him some variety in his diet so occasionally he has kibble, which he loves. I have a lidded box in which I store it but neglected to empty the new packet into it. Instead, I put the pack in one of the larder cupboards – foolish! As I passed it on my way to something else urgently demanding my attention I noticed Winston attempting to open the door and thought, ‘I’ll move that food in a minute.’ 

In the usual pattern of life in our house, I completely forgot about it until I heard a crackling, rustling noise in the kitchen and noticed that Frodo was absent. When I investigated, the incriminating evidence was on the floor, being observed by a rather disturbed Winston. He had pointed Frodo in the direction of the food and instead of sharing with him Frodo had put all the lovely nibbles inside himself and was looking exceedingly pleased. Another black mark for Frodo but as he’s covered in them it really didn’t make much difference!


  1. Oh Frodo,
    Lucky boy!Next time you get to something as scrumptious, please do give a shout.
    I don't mind sharing the blame!
    Wags, Buddy

  2. Oh, dear! Frodo slept happy on his full tummy! Years ago my husband had a Beagle who ate a whole holiday ham. He was literally half Beagle, half Ham. I'm told he slept for three days but never got sick. LOL

  3. Oh, Janice, it all sounds so familiar!
    I think the trick is to be ever-vigilant and I am not good at that. When I had two cats and a dog, someone was always getting into something someone shouldn't get into.
    One winter, years ago, I was very ill, and my parents moved in with me so Mother could fuss, and cook. It had been a long time since they'd been owned by a cat, so when she put meat on a plate on the kitchen counter to thaw, she forgot about my big cat Herman, a formidable leaper.
    When the meat began to thaw, Hermie could smell it. Mother wasn't watching, so he was up on the counter in a flash, only being discovered after he'd done considerable damage to our dinner.
    As for well-behaved grownup Dalmations, I'm sure one or two exist somewhere, but I've never met one.
    Their enthusiasm always seems to outweigh their discretion.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Aksharaa - we certainly will let your pups know - but you'll have to be quick! Love and licks Frodo x
    Lisa - beagles . . . yes . . . entertaining dogs with musical inclinations. Frodo was almost all well-hung deer on one occasion. He was happy (after a bath) - we were less so but he did sleep so well;-)
    Kay - that is so funny:-) I hope your mother laughed - eventually! Cats can be so devious, can't they?

  5. That's so funny-especially the cat kibbles tale! Glad all that extra food didn't do him too much harm!

  6. This was very entertaining for me, but not for you, I'm afraid!

  7. LOL ... I can see all of this, you have to love them!
    I just love it when cats sleep like that, sometimed my cat does it with both paws, it looks like she saying her prayers :o)

  8. Hahaha ! what a nice story for my first cup of coffee ! Frodo seems to be a walking stomac just like my cat Arthur who lately stole a whole slice of Mortadella from Mr.G's plate. He had done this already with a steak !
    You have quiet a meat consumption, I mean your dogs have, lol!
    I was also convinced that dry food is not good for cats, but the vet "prescribed" special dry food for Rosie's and of course the most expensive one "Hill's" fragile stomac. Apparently it's good, because she didn't have any troubles anymore. Anyway we have a cat restaurant here : 2 cats only eating dry food and two cats only chunks (of course different brands !)

  9. Oh my! I hope he didn't get too much of a tummy ache. He sure does look guilty in that first photo. Cute... yes... but guilty.

  10. It must take a strong stomach to deal with frozen meat!

  11. I'm thinking it's good to have papillons that can't reach as far as big dogs. My friend had a Dalmatian a few years ago and we took him and my GSD on a PAT dog visit to an old folks home. The Dalmatian was a typical greedy guts and when a photographer from the locl rag asked for a shot of an old lady feeding the dog a biscuit, he climbed up onto the ladies chair and towering above her swallowed the biscuit whole. The photo in the paper looked like a Dalmatian eating an old lady. I hasten to add that the old lady loved the whole experience.

  12. Frodo obviously has quite an appetite! My Daisy will eat anything she can get her paws on, too. I even have to keep the horse grain out of her reach!

  13. Sarah - it's strange but the dogs like cat food - well, any food really, but Winston Ocicat also loves dog biscuits and has to be kept away from Gus when he's having his special rations!
    Belle - once all the mess is cleared away I relax and then think, 'Oh, blow! I should have photographed that!'
    Deborah - a holy cat! I'm impressed;-)
    Gattina - are you quite sure Arthur is a cat? He looks like a cat, he moves like a cat, he eats like a . . . dog!
    Kay - no, no tummy ache, though he deserved one!
    Jinksy - their stomachs are pretty robust - mine, I'm not so sure, but then I don't eat frozen food, apart from an occasional ice lolly;-)
    Chris - that is so funny! I'd love to have seen that. Dalmatians are heavy though - the little old lady might have ended up with fractures ;-)
    Janie - it's strange the things dogs eat, isn't it? They're opportunists and ours supplement their diet with bird seed when they can. At least with a greedy dog you know they're unwell if they're not eating:-)

  14. I saw a lovely Dalmation yesterday and it reminded me of Frodo-though it was a female. It was bounding up and down in a very excited fashion. Jenny, who I was out with, used to have Dalmations when she was a child and she said her Dad called them the 'damnations'!
    I enjoyed reading your interview just now on Yiota's friend's blog. I am puzzled though about how you would use 'of' as a verb. Please enlighten me!

  15. I love the idea of calling Dalmatians 'Damnations' - they can be rather trying sometimes:-)
    Using 'of' as a verb instead of have is quite common round here as in 'I would of thought' and 'You might of asked me'. People even write it that way!

  16. Oh yes I see! It should OF been obvious! Two of my favourites(not) are 'use to' and 'bare with me'. I have seen those quite a lot!

  17. 'Bare with me' is really quite rude, isn't it? ;-)

  18. 'Bare with me' is really quite rude, isn't it? ;-)

  19. Oh dear! Frodo has been naughty this week. It's hard to believe that cute face is masking such a scheming mind. :)


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