Having grown up as a kenneled show dog instead of an indoor companion dog, Alanis doesn't know some important things about domestic life. I am trying to teach her Things that Fall on the Kitchen Floor and Spoon Licking 101.
I move at warp speed when cooking in order to get it over with as quickly as possible. Keeper and The So-Perfect Darwin used to watch and wait for the inevitable falling food. They would run up but screech to a sliding halt if I yelled, "No." If I tapped my foot beside the fallen morsels, they'd vacuum up the food instantly. Alanis is only beginning to learn about falling food; the foot-tap is weeks or months away.
Today I made split pea soup with chopped-up vegetables that went flying around the kitchen. Dogs should not eat onions and most won't eat celery but carrots are generally desirable. When a carrot slice hit the floor, I squatted down and tapped it with my finger. "Alanis, look what fell from the sky!" I picked it up and offered it to her. "Come on, you like carrots." She approached and took the carrot almost hesitantly before crunching it up. She looked at me with that "More?" expression that dogs quickly perfect. I said, "You'll have to wait until something else falls. You need to watch for it." We will continue our lessons but I doubt she'll ever dart in as fast as a shark the way Keeper did.
When cleaning up after dinner, I offered her the stirring spoon to lick. It's not plastic but is that stuff like plastic for high temperatures. The point is that it isn't metal and has some give. She reached to take the spoon in her front teeth, then drew back in surprise. I scraped some split pea gunk off with my finger and held it out for her to lick before offering the spoon again. Nope, that spoon is scary stuff and not to be touched, no matter how attractive the green pea gunk. She knows fingers can be licked, plates can be licked; but anything else is suspect.
My mother, who never allowed our dogs to lick plates or other human utensils, would approve of Alanis' manners. I'm bent on corrupting her by teaching her to eat off the floor, my spoons and even pots and pans when she's ready for advanced classes in kitchen work. After all, how else do you keep the kitchen clean?