My dog Dudley knows that as soon as he finishes his dish of food, he will receive a dog biscuit and a chew stick (good for his teeth). This pattern has been in place over the past three years, but Dudley has learned to try coming to me, licking his chops, as though he has finished his food, even though he hasn’t actually even touched it. I fell for this deception only a couple of times, but once in a while he still tries it again, hoping for his dog treats without having had to eat his real food.
It’s an old trick, one that I should have recognized sooner, because as a kid, I tried the same thing on my parents, hoping to get dessert without having to eat my spinach. The irony here is that it was my dog Sleepy during my childhood, who was only too happy to take off my hands things like spinach or Brussels sprouts under the table. No wonder he lived such a long time!