This isn’t going to be one of those self-help posts: How to Create a Monster in 6 Easy Steps. Unfortunately, I was only able to accomplish this feat through hard work and a lot of luck.
Maggie is my now 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd/Lab mix. I got her for two reasons.
1. She is so pretty. I mean, look at that coat. It’s very striking.
2. When we met, she pretended like she was calm and docile and completely manipulated me into adopting her.
3. My nephews were dead set on her. Well, one of them was. The other really wanted Cee Lo, a younger puppy with excessive energy. Maggie didn’t have excessive energy. She was calm and docile.
That was 3 reasons. All very valid, though. So, I adopted her and brought her home to meet her brother, my now 7-year-old Dorkie (a mix of Dachshund and Yorkie). She was 5 months old at the time, and as it turned out, she was not actually as calm and docile as she’d led me to believe. This I found out after she ran around my living room in a circle, jumping on and off sofas and chairs for half an hour without stopping.
I realized then that I had my work cut out for me. What I didn’t know, though, was just how much work she would be. Within a few days, Maggie started to scratch. A lot. I checked her over and over for fleas. It turned out, she had a yeast infection over her entire body. Her poor skin was so itchy that she couldn’t go more than a few seconds without scratching. She got pills for that and then shortly after got a yeast ear infection in both ears. Apparently Maggie is a yeast infection magnet. More pills that didn’t quite clear it up and then pills to try to completely kill off the infection.
Maggie lost a tooth at 6 months. Not because it was her baby tooth, but because it also was infected. It turned gray and smelled like death. In addition to all of these, Maggie had a lot of digestive problems. Bills were quickly adding up and I did what anyone does in a situation like this. I turned to Google. Google has a lot of information on this topic. Almost 1 1/2 million hits, actually. One thing that I saw over and over: yogurt. Yes, giving your dog plain yogurt in her food is a good way to help prevent yeast infections. I began mixing a few spoons of yogurt into her food daily. It helped! She stopped having yeast infections.
Her digestion, though, was still abysmal at best. I turned to my bestie Google. I found some super high quality dog food brands, but they were all quite pricey and she eats a lot. So I found this handy-dandy website that objectively rates dog food brands and found one that was only high quality (not super high quality) for quite a bit less. Finally all of my problems were solved. At least as far as health concerns.
So how did this create a monster? Well, it turns out conditions were prime for breeding the perfect Food Snob. I couldn’t put yogurt in Maggie’s food without putting a little in Bodie’s as well. Every night, I would feed them and mix in some yogurt. As Maggie’s gotten older, I have eased up a little on the yogurt. But she still always wants something in her bowl.
When I put down a bowl of dry dog food, she looks at me as though I have completely lost her mind. She looks at her bowl and back to me, sometimes whining, sometimes hitting me. As a mom who loves spoiling her kiddos, the worst part is when she looks forlornly off into the distance as if she will never be happy again.
I made the decision to not put anything in her food until she got used to eating regular dry food like every other dog in the world. I stuck to my guns and didn’t give her any yogurt, or other tasty treat. For almost 2 days. Then I gave in and scooped some yogurt into her bowl. I have created the perfect Food Snob and there’s nothing I can do about it (unless I walk around blindfolded for the rest of my life).