31: No Peas, Please

31: No Peas, Please

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

No Peas, Please

The belly rules the mind.

~Spanish Proverb

Lucca is not a finicky eater. My Pomeranian mix has a palate that includes homework pages, stuffed-animal insides, raw carrots, pizza off someone’s plate, stolen fried chicken, cat food, lots of grass, hornets, and even dog food now and then. He is clearly driven by food—human food, pet food, burnt food, food from the garbage—he is not too selective. Good thing he gets a lot of exercise.

My husband is not really “finicky” . . . just “vegetable challenged.” He does not like broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, beets, or peas. His mom did not like peas, he does not like peas, two of our three children do not like peas—and his dog does not like peas, apparently.

Now and then I feed the dog some scraps from our plates. Yes, I know that pets are not supposed to eat people food, but what could be bad about a little tuna casserole? I make it with egg noodles, tuna in water, cream of chicken soup, a little sour cream . . . and frozen peas. I put the peas in only half the casserole, to please all family members.

One tuna-casserole-night, when I was cleaning up the dishes, I scraped some casserole leftovers into the dog’s dish, and mixed it with the standard dry food. Well, in his typical style, my furry friend went to town on his dinner. I was cleaning up, listening to some crunching, a little pause here and there, more crunching—then quiet. I looked over. Lucca was sitting next to his dish—it was empty, licked clean. But on the floor, in a semi-circle around the dish, sat the peas. He had greedily chowed down, only to spit out the peas quite carefully.

Really? Had my husband given the dog a certain look, telling him that peas did not fit into a guy’s diet? Perhaps my youngest son had whispered in Lucca’s ear, telling him that “real men” did not eat peas? I got out my camera and took a few photos of Lucca looking quite guilty. I sent the photo to all my animal-loving family and friends. Everyone agreed it was about the funniest thing they had ever seen. I, on the other hand, did not think it was that funny. I walked the dog the most, fed the dog the most, cleaned up after the dog the most, played with the dog the most. And yet, like a child, I could not count on him to eat what I told him was good for him.

The next day, the guys all went out for burgers. Lucca got his own—and left not a trace.

~Antonia Everts

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