Worried that Kyndall might have a particularly urgent need for toileting this morning, I hustled her at 6:25 a.m. downstairs and out to the backyard without closing the bedroom or hallway doors, as I normally do. Indeed, she peed approximately one gallon under the fig tree (though that was the only action.) Back in the house, the instant I unclipped her leash, she tore through the first floor, rocketed up the stairs back into the bedroom, and launched herself up onto the bed (where she is NEVER permitted, and where Steve had been dozing.) He angrily ordered her off, and she raced downstairs again and into the front room, doing a lap or two around the table at approximately 100 miles per hour. Clearly, this was not an ill dog. This was an energized dog.
It occurs to me that maybe she was energized because she ate a normal cup and a half of dogfood last night. All through the preparation of my family’s dinner, Kyndall had watched me like a hawk, following my every move. “She’s hungry,” I felt confident. She’d eaten a half cup or so of cottage cheese in the morning, but by the end of the afternoon it seemed clear the caloric deficit had finally caught up to her. When I presented her with the dogfood, she eyed it gloomily. But after a moment, she consumed every morsel.
After that crazed display of energy this morning, I presented her with more dogfood, but this morning, she wasn’t having any of it.
I then fixed up a mixture of white rice and cottage cheese and presented that to her. She appeared to find it yummy…
…and licked the bowl clean.
As soon as the CCI offices opened, I called Becky Hein, the puppy program manager. Scarcely had I begun to tell her about Kyndall’s behavior when she blurted out, “This is an epidemic!” Becky explained that she had recently heard similar stories from at least 3 or 4 other puppy-raisers. She was intrigued that all the hunger-strikers were females. Maybe their hormones were having some impact on their appetites.
I felt relieved to hear that Kyndall wasn’t the only suddenly picky eater. “I have to say I’ve never seen a dog waste away from not eating,” Becky reassured me further. Like one of my blog readers, she suggested that we try moistening Kyndall’s food with hot water or chicken broth. But she also seemed to be urging a course of Tough Love: removing the uneaten kibbles after 10 minutes and reoffering them later. Or cutting down on the amount offered at breakfast. Becky seemed pretty confident that Kyndall would eventually get back into a kibble-eating groove. Sounds good to me.