As I said in my post of the dog of my youth, Worthless, he had some kind of filter located between his ears and brain. That filter translated words he didn’t care for into words better fitting his personality and disposition at the moment. But there were a scattered few words that traveled unhindered, and I might add, at super sonic speeds straight to his brain. One of those words was “food.” Using the old adage, you can call me anything you want, but never call me late to dinner, fit Worthless to a tee.
When it came to eating, Worthless was a bottomless pit. He was a vacuum cleaner with a repulsive looking face at one end, and a ragged tail at the other. When his dog dish was put down, the moment his muzzle touched the food, the contents were gone. I mean, instantly gone! Obviously, chewing before swallowing was not even a consideration. And to Worthless, what was put in his dog dish made absolutely no difference. He would eat ANYTHING!
In his unappealing stage between being a puppy and an adult..Okay, every stage of his growth was unappealing, but we’re talking about the worst phase of his unappealing stages, my mother mentioned the idea that maybe we should put him on a healthy diet, buying a vitamin-enriched dry dog food. But she quickly disregarded that idea when I reminded her that just the day before we witnessed him eat a turd which may have very well been his own. But the bottom line was he seemed to be always hungry. That was when my mother made the decision she was going to feed that dog until he could eat no more…She was going to devote that day to filling up Worthless.
My father owned a meat packing plant. Okay, doing away with the fancy words, it was a slaughter house. He butchered beef, pork and sheep. For that reason, there was an endless supply of meat byproducts. Mom brought home a large supply, threw it in a huge pot, added water, then threw in a few cups of rice for filler, and put it on the stove. After being boiled and eloquently allowed to simmer, she was ready. She then brought out the bowl, filled it, set it down on the kitchen floor, and then yelled out the back door, “FOOD!”
I cannot actually say I saw Worthless enter the house. All I remember seeing was an elongated brown blur that went from the back door to the dog dish. And mom was waiting, ladle in hand, for the next helping. Needless to say, the bowl’s contents instantly vanished. But, immediately, mom refilled it. Gone! Mom refilled it. Gone! To be honest, I have no idea how many times this occurred. Finally, Worthless began to slow, doing something we had never seen before; actually chewing the food before swallowing!
Finally he went from the standing position to sitting down. Again my mother refilled the bowl. And, again, it would be emptied. Slowly, Worthless was beginning to become more methodical while eating. But he continued to empty his bowl. Mom would fill it again. With the pull of gravity, Worthless’ legs gave way, bringing him down to the upright laying position. But he continued to empty the bowl. Mom would refill it.
And then almost as if in slow motion Worthless rolled over onto his side, showing all the attributes of a beached whale. But his face was still within striking distance of the bowl. Though his head was on the floor, his tongue slowly slipped from his mouth, creeped along the floor, then slithered over the bowl’s edge and scooped in another small morsel. It then began a slow reverse course back to his mouth. Mother was waiting with another ladle of food. Finally, she dumped it back in the pot, a smile of satisfaction appearing. She had bested Worthless.
I don’t know how long Worthless laid there. But for hours after we could still hear him in the kitchen groaning and farting, leaving the kitchen in a fragrance that would gag a vulture. But eventually he staggered out the back door to take a dump that most likely would have put a dinosaur to shame. But my mother had accomplished the unattainable…she had filled up Worthless.
Author’s Note: We later learned from a veterinarian, that a dog can actually eat itself to death. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, depending on whom being asked, Worthless went on to live a long and dubiously lengthy life.