Sunday, June 9, 2013

Turkey, Round 2

After Friday's experience with my dogs and turkey necks, I decided to try a different approach today.

First, I pulled all the bedding out of Silver's crate, put her inside, and dropped her turkey neck in her bowl. I latched the kennel and left her staring at the turkey neck. This time, she was drooling, but she still didn't launch into it.

The BSJ, through row 37

I took Sam outside. It was raining, so I couldn't hook him to his usual post in the carport. I held his leash and put down the bowl with his turkey neck in it. He picked it up firmly--and stood there. He wouldn't lie down. He wouldn't relax his grip on the neck long enough to actually eat it. He just stood there. I wanted to check on Silver--make sure she wasn't choking herself--so I fastened Sam's leash to the post I put Silver at the other day--out of the rain and close to the door. I stuck my head back inside to check on Silver and found her furiously crunching away on her turkey neck. Back outside--Sam still standing there.

Minutes went by. Silver finished her turkey neck (I kept ducking back to check on her), and Sam still stood there with the neck gripped between his jaws. I let Silver out of her crate. She'd come to the storm door and look at Sam, and he still just stood there. Finally, I took his leash and led him back inside, still holding his prize. I shooed Silver away from the front room, and I aimed Sam at her empty crate. He didn't want to go inside--I've never crated him in all the years he's been here--but I pushed him in and closed the door behind him.

He still stood there, holding his turkey neck. Silver started to come in the room and I shooed her back out. I draped one of the blankets Silver uses in the crate over the front of the kennel, so he couldn't see out in that direction. I stood where Sam could see my feet if he looked out the side of the crate, but he no longer knew if I was watching him, and he couldn't see Silver at all.

Finally. He finally started eating his turkey neck. I kept praising him, and I watched until I was sure he'd eaten it all. Then I let him out of the crate. He went through the kitchen to get to the living room. Silver came from the other direction to inspect the crate, but she wouldn't go back in there while Sam was out of her sight.

Honestly, food shouldn't be this difficult. I'm guessing that each dog is motivated to protect his/her high-value turkey neck, and that while in possession of the Precious, neither dog is willing to relax guard against the other. I'm not stupid enough to disregard their feelings. If they don't trust each other, I'm certainly not going to leave the two of them alone with a high-value prize. (The whole situation is complicated by the fact that while Sam's been off his feed, Silver's been eating whatever he's left in his dish. Often, I pick up his not-empty dish and put it away to keep little Porky from eating Sam's food. But I haven't always done that--and now I need to start.)

I need to figure out a way to feed them both safely. I don't like feeding her inside and him outside: the dog I'm not with is at risk of choking, and a dog tethered outside alone is at risk of a loose dog in the neighborhood. I could feed both dogs in Silver's crate (if Sam will cooperate with going in there), but they can't both eat there at the same time, and I'm hesitant to blatantly feed one dog in the crate while the other waits. I think that next time--weather permitting--I'll hook them both to carport posts again and try feeding them outside at the same time. That worked (eventually) for Sam on Friday, and now that Silver understands what a turkey neck is, she might be willing to eat it outside.

Today--when I wasn't directing the lunchtime epic--I got a lot of knitting done. I finished the hat for the shop sample (still needs blocking and a good photo). I also knitted 14 rows of the BSJ (it's about 30% done). Tomorrow, I'm going shopping for a wig head I can use for blocking and for photographing knitted hats: stuffing a hat with wadded up shopping bags hasn't worked well, and I don't always have a nephew handy to model for me.


1--No upset stomachs from the turkey necks. Knock wood.
2--Lunch with Mother this Wednesday (probably)

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