When I visited Rob and Mum in July, I wanted to take a treat for my furry friend Bruce; the outwardly ferocious but inwardly sloppy Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
I couldn't take the Chewmaster Chicken Strips that Molson adores because they were too heavy, so I found a lighter Chewmaster option--Liver Bites. The whole bag only weighed 500gram--about 1 pound.
When I first unpacked them and showed them to Rob, he looked very serious, virtuously pursing his lips and saying, "I don't know, Belinda, I don't want him putting on weight." And he set a limit of four a day.
I pointed out that they were only 8 calories each, but was very faithful in adhering to this instruction, even if each piece felt like a weightless piece of air as I carefully doled them out.
Bruce loved them from the first wiff--and learned to catch them in mid air in his salivating alligator jaws.
Rob, who loves Bruce to bits, was a pushover and forgot all about the four a day limit. I mean, this is the dog who sits beside him and Mum as they eat and just about wills the food off their plates. I steadfastly refused to give in to the intense stare. Rob holds with the theory that dogs do this because they have been conditioned from ancient times to eat food from the hands of their master. "Not this master," I thought! I hold with the theory that what is on my plate is mine--call me a meanie if you wish. :) However I am the Doggie Treat Fairy.
Since I left, Rob has been carefully rationing them out. Bruce has grown in his love for them and knows exactly where they are on top of the kitchen cupboard. Two weeks ago Rob told me that he was down to the bottom two inches in the bottom of the bag and said, "Belinda he sits by the cupboard and just STARES at the bag."
I said, "Well, then I will have to get him some more!"
"For when you come over again?" Rob asked.
"No, I mean to send."
"Really Belinda?" said Rob, and you would have thought I had promised him the world.
Rob is so content with little, that it is always hard for me to find anything to add to his happiness in the realm of gifts, so I was thrilled to find a small thing to bless his heart. Something for Bruce means more to him than anything for himself.
I went out that afternoon to Costco and got the Liver Bites, packaged them up in white biodegradable plastic bags bound with festive packaging tape and addressed it to "Bruce" c/o Rob Cater. Last Monday the package left Canada by air.
On Saturday when we chatted I asked if the parcel had arrived. It hadn't, but Rob was so surprised that it was already on the way. I was sure it would arrive on Monday, and sure enough on Monday morning, just before I left for work, Rob called excitedly to tell me the treasure had arrived.
He said that Bruce helped unwrap the package and that he knew what it was.
"Belinda," he said, "I wish you could have seen him. His eyes were on STALKS!"
And I have been laughing ever since at that mental image, as well as carrying a ton of joy in my heart at making Rob's day.