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Banjo as Tuna Water

Posted by Joanchek on Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's been a lovely week with the kiddo home on spring break.  She and her dad took off about noon for school and work;  the house has that too quiet feeling that I never really get used to.  I do have a fridge full of leftovers, which is a good thing, I suppose. 

The puppy is good company;  she still needs lots of attention and exercise which keeps me moving and busy.  I've learned so much since we added her to the family:  patience, and more patience;  consistency; and loyalty.  She is a big girl now--nearly 40 pounds.  But she's coming right along and will be a well-mannered and fine adult dog when she's done growing.  You might suspect that a 5-month old pup who's growing this fast is an eating machine.  But in reality, she's not a big eater.  Once in a while I do a little something to make her more interested in her meals. 

One day, I was making some tuna salad for myself.  I opened the can, and had the fine idea of draining the tuna water into a cup to pour over her kibble.  Just a couple of tablespoons of tuna water, usually flushed down the kitchen sink, dumped over her puppy food in her bowl.  She tore into her meal like it was birthday cake.  We think of labs as bird dogs, but back in their collective history, labs were fishing dogs, and something stirred down in her belly, deep and primeval.  She ate her tuna-water doused dinner with a relish I had never seen in man nor beast. 

When I have tuna now, and pull the can out of the cabinet and go for the can opener, she comes running.  The wag in her tail is more than just her everyday happywag.  It starts up by her ribcage, travels down her haunches into the thick base of her shiny otter tail.  That wag is so strong it wiggles her entire body, as though her ancestors on a cold North Atlantic beach in Newfoundland are wagging along with her, stirring some collective instinctual memory of towing fishing boats and nets with a hunk of codfish as a reward.  To me, it's tuna water.  To her, it's the finest meal she can imagine.

So I have also learned to see the world in a new way, through puppy-eyes, where even the most mundane thing, the most worthless thing, takes on great value and gives great happiness.  Tuna water.

3 comments on “Banjo as Tuna Water”

banjotef Says:
Sunday, March 15, 2009 @3:40:33 PM

What a neat story!  

twayneking Says:
Monday, March 16, 2009 @7:02:37 PM

Our cat loves tuna water too, but not on her dry crunchy food - only on her "wet" food.

Weird, but then that's cats.


stanger Says:
Thursday, March 26, 2009 @1:16:16 AM

Yup. There are a lot of things like tuna water that dogs relish. I like to feed my dog very small bits of what I eat, just enough to give him a taste, and he really enjoys it. I never feed him from the table, though... the taste only comes before I eat or when I'm cleaning up afterward. And if anything hits the floor when I'm cooking, other than a steak or grapes, it's the dog's. Never feed your puppy grapes- they're toxic to their system, and just as bad or worse than chocolate. My old cat usually isn't interested in anything but her chow, but once in a while, she likes a little fragment of chicken.

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