"He won't eat that," I told my hubby as he offered Luke a piece of turkey on his couch. A dog that doesn't like turkey? What? Well, he actually likes turkey but it must be offered in the correct corresponding scenario. One does not just eat turkey on the couch at random moments; well at least Luke does not. Elsa? darn right. For most dogs, food is food and it is welcome at any time and any place. Each has their own taste, likes and dislikes. But Luke takes it one step further; he is after all a very complicated and emotional boy.
Luke likes to eat; but only what he likes to eat. With it being the correct food it must also be offered just so. He is the first dog that I have ever had likes this and I truly hope to be the last. It is a constant challenge to get food into him. I guess he is closer to a human with regards to his eating habits. We have things we eat at certain times of the day and sometimes we are just not in the mood for a specific item. I am atypical as far as morning food; I like good hearty stuff for breakfast. Don't give me a bowl of cold cereal and expect me to be chowing down with enthusiasm, no thank you. I don't eat eggs. I will take some lasagna, peanut chicken or bacon/avocado sandwich though. But offer me up a salad for breakfast? Yuck. Any other time of the day I'm in. I eat a lot of salad but not for breakfast.
Yesterday I decided to cook up some liver I'd gotten for the dogs. It is getting harder and harder to find liver so when I can get it, I do. Elsa has had chicken gizzards and seemed to like it; she's also had beef liver but in a very small amount. As soon as I pulled the liver out of the pack; before it was in the pan, Luke was on the scene. This in itself is rare; but he knows what he likes and liver is one of those things. Elsa was in the kitchen as she typically is during food preparation time. So, to switch things up I chopped two liver steaks and added in some meatloaf. Luke was obviously very excited about the idea of liver for dinner.
We head outside, which is Luke's dining preference right now. I put his bowl down first as I always do and then placed Elsa down. She did her customary sit before being released to eat and I headed back to coax Luke. I am so use to his feeding ritual now that seeing his face down in the bowl, shocked me. I guess it had been a while since he'd had liver. He was chowing down; so I sat in the chair beside him and enjoyed this very rare moment. Looking over at Elsa I noticed another rare moment; she was not eating. Well, she was sort of eating; she was picking through her food to find the meatloaf pieces. She most definitely had her nose turned up at the liver. Elsa loves food but she is not a huge raw food fan although she is getting there. This liver was not to her liking; it is after all very strong. It just about turned my stomach just cooking it. But it is that strong beefy aroma and flavor that gets Luke every time. Elsa, not so much.
So I sat watching Luke feast and Elsa pick. It made me think of how very different they are. Luke is such a poor eater and here he was devouring his liver. Elsa is a great eater but not a fan of this strong smelling, weird textured stuff. Even stranger was what came next, hovering. Luke hovered while Elsa picked through the liver. The only time he ever hovers over her food bowl is when they have raw meat. As I said, she is not a raw fan either and unless I flash fry it she tends to leave a few pieces in the bottom that she just cannot stomach. Luke's favorite food is raw beef and obviously liver.
Wolves aren't picky; so why then are so many dogs picky? Well, wolves were never offered a nice sauteed liver steak with organic red pepper. They were not given a chance to sample so many different culinary dishes before choosing which they preferred. No for wolves it is just about eating and survival. Look at the crap that so many people feed their dogs without any regard to nutrition, let alone taste. A big bag of dry pieces of overly processed, low grade stuff. Many of the low grade dog kibbles don't even register in the food category for me. It would be much like eating a Twinkie. Lots of stuff in it but nothing that you could really consider food.
Do I enjoy catering to the canine palate? Mostly. Other times I would just like Luke to eat, just eat. It does make me very happy to give them food that they really enjoy. Luke also loves sausages and when we have them for dinner it is one of the rare moments when he appears on the scene. Luke likes flavor, he always has and to him it is not just about sustenance. I guess I could call Luke a canine "foodie." He is ever discriminating and my final taste tester as far as new canine recipes. Whether it is a food or treat recipe the goal is always Luke's approval. If Luke will eat it, anyone will eat it. :)