Shady doesn’t speak words, but there are times he makes his message plain. Shady longs for community. I feed Shady at the same time we eat. I place a serving of his special canned feast on his little saucer and set it on his place mat on the floor not far from our table. All of us eat at the same time, but Shady finishes in thirty seconds. Then he comes to the table and respectfully rests one paw on my lap. Without exception. It’s a ritual. Next he moves his paw slowly to the corner of the table. Sometimes I’ll drop a small bit of meat on the floor for him, but usually not. I don’t scold him. I pet him gently on the head and nudge him away. Shady leaves the table. He gets my message.
Several times in an effort to get my message to Shady, after he beings his gentlemanly pleading, I will get up out of my chair and lead him to another room to his personal area. I keep a dish of dry kibbles there. Obviously, I think this is an issue solely about his hunger for food. Shady gives me a message, too. He ignores my message and follows me back to the table.
Today I decide to remind Shady about his dish of kibbles. Shady follows me only half way and turns around. I continue to his kibble dish and put a small serving of kibbles on his saucer and put it back on his place mat in the kitchen. Shady eats the kibbles with delight and returns to the table. Hm. I finally get it! It’s a social thing!
No, I’m not putting Shady’s place mat on the table. He would put his cute little wet nose and his gentlemanly paw in the food! But I understand now. Community. Oneness. Being together with loved ones. Eating together. This is what it’s about. Love.