I'm convinced that my dog isn't actually a dog, but a pig in the disguise of a dog.
Like every single Labrador I've ever come across, he's completely and utterly obsessed with eating. Not food, I've seen this dog inhale many a thing that isn't food, but eating.
In his two years on this earth, I have known him to wolf the following items:
1. A Lush bath bomb, of which I found fizzing remnants effervescing on the kitchen floor.
2. A wine glass. Yes. A wine GLASS - crunched into tiny, glittering shards all around the bin. To this day, I still don't know how he got a hold of it and how there wasn't a single injury sustained nor drop of his blood spilt.
3. Stone flagging around the window in our church apartment, that had been there since the 1800's.
4. A pair of stilettos. Not the shoe, just the heel. I'm not talking chewed and left for me to find; the things completely disappeared.
5. The wall. Again, to this day I don't know how he did it.
Now he's a little older, we instil a little more trust in him and can leave those tempting wonders that are wine glasses and bath bombs around the house without him taking it upon himself to feast like Henry VIII.
This said, he inhales his breakfast and dinner in roughly twenty five seconds.
I talked about this with one of my clients when she picked up her two Miniature Dachshunds that we'd had overnight, and she told me about the feeders she used with her two to slow them down a little and make their favourite time of day last a bit longer.
The thoughtful lady she is, she turned up at my door a couple of weeks later with a Company of Animals Green Interactive Slow Feeder for Sherlock.
On a side note, my DogBuddy clients really are bloody lovely. Over the last few months, I've had dog-owners who have stuck around for a cup of tea, checked in to see how baby scans have gone, given me great doggy health tips (as a vet) and even brought flowers.
There's no better feeling than breathing in the fresh air on a morning walk with the dogs running around, before flicking the kettle on and sitting down to do some work for my copywriting clients whilst they alternate playtime and sleeping. To have the pleasure of meeting their wonderful owners as well is just an added bonus.
But back to the feeder. I was super excited to try it out with Sherlock and couldn't wait to see if it actually worked. The idea is to prolong meal time for dogs and give them a little more mental stimulation when it comes to troughing down their chow and with an artsy, grass-like design, I much preferred it to the majority of dog paraphernalia that messes up my house. Plus, it's very easy to clean.
Whilst I hardly expected my little warthog to mindfully chew his way through supper and contemplate the ways of the universe, I was hoping it would slow him down just a tad and challenge him a little more.
The first evening, he was pretty pissed off. This guy takes his food seriously - he even knows the word 'breakfast', so to have his dinner turned into an assault course... he was not best pleased.
It took him a good while to get through his supper that night, and at times he simply sat back and frowned at the feeder and then at me. I could understand why, if someone took my roast dinner and scattered it over a game of Mousetrap, I'd be pretty damn bemused myself.
But then I'm not the one who inhales my dinner in twenty five seconds. I need at least forty.
Eventually, he finished up and skulked off to go and mope over his difficult dinnertime.
I was disappointed that he didn't seem to like it, but it definitely slowed him down so I wanted to persevere.
Three days later, and the old Mason Cash is a thing of the past. We're officially a Green household despite being crap at recycling.
Sherlock's tail actually wags whilst he snuffles around for the biscuits and now instead of finishing his breakfast by the time mine has popped out of the toaster, it takes him the same amount of time as for me to enjoy my first coffee of the day before he's had his fill.
A happy dog and a happy owner.
If you also have a greedy dog that wolfs his food down, you can order a Green Interactive Slow Feeder yourself here for the very specific price of £18.20.
Bon Ap(paw)tit! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)