It’s a Sunday afternoon and I am roasting a chicken. I’m also finely chopping some kale and listening to The Archers omnibus. I just need to take my songs off and get pregnant and I will be the epitome of wholesome.
The chicken however is not for me, it’s for the dog.
Before getting a dog I imagined that they ate anything. Belle spent a lot of time researching the best dry puppy food and we went with that, innocently assuming that she would eat that until she moved to the adult version and then the senior version. The end. Everything went well for the first six months, and then she started to turn up her nose at it. She’d have a sniff, then walk away, preferring to go hungry than lower herself to eating the obvious muck that we’d dared to put in her bowl.
‘Call her bluff!’ people said. ‘She’ll eat when she’s hungry!’
She did not.
So we switched foods. And a few weeks later she did it again. We tried mixing in some wet food, topping biscuits with tasty things like a raw egg or bits of chicken, but there just didn’t seem to be a food she’d stick with. I researched the fresh pet food delivery services but when I discovered how much they cost I decided to have a go at making my own homemade dog food.
So here I am, roasting chickens and frying up mince beef every other weekend as though that’s exactly what I had planned for my life. I carefully weigh out the ingredients, researching the proportions she needs of protein, fats and carbs. I sometimes add fresh herbs for flavour, or extra bits like chopped fruits when I think she needs a boost of a particular nutrient. I’ve been doing it for nearly a year now and Mako clears her bowl every single time.
Now, what I don’t quite understand is why I can’t do the same for MYSELF.
While I’m faffing about balancing Mako’s macronutrients, I’m simultaneously eating a bag of Wotsits dipped in soft cheese for my lunch. ‘Is she getting enough protein?’ I’ll think to myself, whilst casually snaffling a Mars ice cream. There I am, steaming brown rice for the dog while I pour boiling water over a pot noodle for myself.
How has this happened? How have I become the sort of person who can’t be bothered to wait for the toaster to pop and so eats hot bread and Biscoff spread for breakfast, but who will happily spend an entire afternoon stuck at home because she has some sweet potato slices dehydrating in the oven to make dog treats?
Luckily there’s not time to think about it as I have too much kale to chop.
Does anyone else have a pet who eats better than them?