Fig season has begun. That makes Steve happy. He loves picking the sweet, dark purple fruit from our huge old tree and cutting it up to put on his cereal every morning. I’m less of a fan, but some years I feel so guilty about all that bounty — so much more than we can eat — that I make a jam which some of my friends like. For the dogs, though, the arrival of fig season is nothing short of miraculous. We can almost read our current puppy’s mind when he or she first discovers what’s happening: “OMG! There are tasty balls dropping out of the sky! They are SO much more delicious than dog food! You just sniff around, find one, and gobble it down. None of this agonizing waiting for meal time.” It must be like the ancient Israelites’ experience with manna.
Though the fruit only began ripening a few days ago, Kyndall has fully embraced the program. The lower yard, where the fig tree grows, also serves as the doggy toileting zone. When we take her there, she’s so distracted by the not-so-hidden fruity treasure that she often has to be sternly reminded to Hurry! (At the same time, the figs have a certain laxative effect that at other times makes Hurrying a matter of urgency. As at 5:30 a.m. this morning…)
Tucker’s an old pro. Some years he eats so many figs he grows visibly plumper over the month or so when the fruit is abundant. We’ve seen him standing on his hind legs to reach particularly tempting morsels. But as he has aged, his digestive system also seems less and less able to tolerate figgy binges.
So we try to rake up the fallen fruit and restrict the amount of time the dogs can get at it. But there are limits to how hard-hearted we can be.