Max here. I am just fine, thank you!
As many of you know, I love food. Lots of food. Many kinds of food. In fact, if you have some food right now, there is a 99% chance that I would eat it. The only foods I won't eat are celery because the strings stick in my teeth and.... Hmmmmm..... and...... Well..... hmm.... Make that a 99.9% chance that I would eat your food.
I am a Certified Master K-9 Food Scrounger. And because I trust that YOU love food, I will tell you the tips you'll need to get more food. But you will need to SHARE any food with me in which my tips lead to you getting more food. It's only fair! I think the Bipeds call it a Ponzi Scheme.
Max's Tip #1: Look Sad and Engaging-- When your Bi-Peds have a party, identify those people who are dog friendly. When you see one who is sitting down and eating (preferrably away from all the excitement), sit a good 10ft away from them and look pathetically sad. Bow your head. Stare are them. Exhale loudly. Pretend you are beaten daily. When the Biped makes eye contact, cock your head and happily wag your tail and smile. Pretend they are sunshine and rainbows.
It's important for you to keep your distance though. If you get too close like Auggie or Buddy and drool on the Biped, Don will get angry and run you away. Possibly even lock you in the Dreaded Bedroom. But if you keep your distance and keep your eyes locked on the eating Bi-Ped's eyes, it works every time! I've gotten so many sandwich ends and chips from that technique. You'll be guaranteed to get that juicy little tidbit! But more importantly, You've identified a Biped who is a sucker and who can be worked over and over again throughout the years.
Max's Tip #2: Clean Up-- After your Biped's party is a chance for you to stuff yourself. I can't tell you how many half-eaten wheels of Brie, bowls of chips, and sandwiches I've eaten when the Bipeds have all gone to bed, are downstairs singing karaoke, or if the building catches fire.
You will need to act quickly and surgically. If the Bipeds see broken plates or the tablecloth askew, they will come running straight for you and lock you in the Dreaded Bedroom. But if you control yourself and eat what is before you without making a mess, the Bipeds will think that all their drunk friends ate everything and forget all about it. One of my favorites!
Max's Tip #3: Follow Little Bipeds Around-- The little Bipeds leave a constant trail of crumbs and Cheerios wherever they go. But you will need to be cautious with this technique as well. Do not go directly for the food the little Biped is putting into its mouth. No! Don't get greedy. You will have all the Cheerios/fruit/pasta you can handle if you just hang back and wait for it to fall on the floor. And fall they will! The adult Bipeds will be so happy that you are cleaning food off their floor you might even get a little head rub, pat on the back, or leftovers. Sometimes the little Biped will toss the entire bowl of whatever they are eating across the room and JACKPOT!!!!!!
Max's Tip #4: Take Advantage of Natures Bounty-- Whenever we go on walks, I am constantly looking out for things to eat. For example, In early July, there are tons of wild strawberries. Sometimes I'll eat so many of them it looks like my jaws are bloody. Then in late July there are tons of low bush blueberries. I just lower my jaw and run through the fields like a four-legged rake. High bush blueberries (Don calls them huckleberries) come soon after that. Early August is raspberries (watch out for the thorns!) and late August through September are big, fat, juicy blackberries and rosehips.
But the BEST time is rotten apple time! Whenever I'm eating rotten apples I just pretend I don't hear Don yelling at me and I keep chomping away. If you know anything about Don you'll know that whenever a dog disobeys, Don will make that Dog obey. Even if Don has to run through 5 miles of blackberry thorns Don will get to the disobeying dog and drag him back to the point where the dog should have obeyed. And Don will NOT be happy. When Don gets close to me eating rotten apples, I'll look at him quizzically and then run away with all the rotten apple I can hold in my mouth. Once I've chomped it all down, I'll rejoin Don and the boys on the trail. Don won't like it, but he won't punish a dog after that dog's done what Don's asked him to do.
Don tries to keep me out of the rotten apples because they give me the soupy-poopies and the worst smelling gas you can imagine. Don's sufferings at the hands of my gassings are exquisite and delightful. And I really enjoy how angry he gets when he has to let me out multiple times in the middle of the night for the soupy-poopy. That's the frosting on the rotten apple cake!
Max's Tip #5: Never Underestimate the Power of the Shop's Free Treat Bowl-- Those little bits can add up to your advantage. Big time. When Don lets us out to go meet customers, Auggie and I will run right past them and stare at the free treat bowl. (Buddy will just run around the shop licking things on the floor). Bipeds will come over and start rubbing us and giving us the big love. But Auggie and I will just stare at the treat bowl. Eventually one of the Bipeds will notice what we're staring at and start shoveling them into our snouts. And when you multiply that by 100 times a day, it can really stave off the afternoon tummy grumblies.
Max's Tip #6: Always be Alert-- Believe me when I tell you that the richest pickings are those that come out of the blue. Sure. The free treat bowl is nice. And a little sandwich end really hits the spot. But if you are a dog, you will agree with me - the best meals are the ones you hunt yourself.
One time we were hiking on some XC ski trails in Yarmouth in the middle of the winter. No hope for berries. No rotten apples. Nothing. I had no hope of any food at all. And I wasn't expecting any. But as we walked along I spied something on the snow-packed trail. I picked up my pace and discovered it was half a bagel. I ran and pounced upon it. The bagel struggled, but to no avail. I ripped it to shreds and consumed its raw, bleeding essence as Auggie looked on in awe and the Bipeds screamed at me to stop.
Another time Don was walking us down Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor and I saw a donut under a bench by A Silver Lining. Again I leapt, but being in town I was at the end of a leash with Auggie hot on my heels. The only thing I could do was pull. Pull and pull and pull towards that donut. Don may be a 250lb behemoth, but I have 4 legs and 90lbs of determination. Don swore sharply, but there was nothing he could do to save the donut. And I ate it so quickly that Auggie could only smell the donut-smelling pavement. Such a sweet victory.
Max's Tip #7: Be Devious-- So many times in the course of a dog's life will he refrain from taking advantage of the situation at hand. And many times a good dog should refrain. But there are also those occasions where the situation begs itself. Case in point- Don's Hamburger.
One fine day, Don decided to make a couple hamburgers and mow the lawn. He brought the hamburgers on the deck and ate one. He must have been full because he got on the rider mower and started mowing. Usually, I will follow Don around when he's on the mower. He'll give me little treats when he's mowing and I like to chase the moths that the mower throws up. Heh heh.... throws up.
On that day I could do nothing but think of that delicious burger sitting helplessly on the deck. I had a couple of treats off the back of the mower from Don and they tasted lackluster. Almost bitter. And still there was that defenseless hamburger on the deck. The moths failed to entice my spirit of chase.
When Don was mowing a particularly steep part of the lawn, I made my move. I ran to the deck and eviscerated that hamburger. Then I ran back and resumed my trot behind the mower. I made sure to be far out of earshot and away from Don's wrath when he was done mowing and went back to the deck. Sure, Don gave me some pretty scary looks and yelled at me. But I got a hamburger and Don made another hamburger. And now he doesn't even remember. So I made out like a bandit!
Max's Tip #8: Exploit the Neighbors-- These nice Bipeds named the Lorentzens live close to us and they don't have a dog. Every morning I get my breakfast and medicines at the cabin and I'll run straight down to their sliding glass door- rain or shine. Then I'll sit and wait for them. When they get up and see me on the deck, I pretend to get really excited. And here's a tip - don't pretend to get so excited that you jump up on the glass doors! Buddy did once and was banished with harsh words. I think he's still afraid to come down.
Anyway, once you see the neighbor Bipeds, act really excited to see them. They will think you ARE really excited to see them and give you a little treat in appreciation. And here's another tip- sitting devotedly in the pouring rain can pay off. Make sure to wag your tail and hang around for a while longer so that if they are feeling really guilty about something else you can get another treat or two. And even those treats are just carrots or broccoli, they will set you off on your day so that you are sated and happy.
I have a zillion other techniques to get more food into your belly. But the internet only has so much space. And if I told you all the ways to get other food, I would be cheating myself out of food. So until I get a few tidbits back from all my suggestions to you all, I will hold the most lucrative food gaining techniques to myself. It's what a smart dog would do.
Take care everyone!