I can't tell you how many times I have tiptoed into the kitchen to get myself a snack without my golden retriever Morgan knowing. If Morgan is in a sound sleep I can usually get the fridge door open, select some goody for myself and make it to the kitchen counter unnoticed. But no matter how quiet I try to be something gives my covert operation away. Whether it's a bag of potato chips, a box of chocolate chip cookies, or a package of Swiss cheese, the slightest crinkle sound gets his attention. Even when Morgan is sound asleep on the cool bathroom floor, way in the back of the house, lo and behold there he is, suddenly appearing by the kitchen, manifesting himself out of thin air and staring intently at whatever I have in my hand.
Morgan gives me one of three looks. The first is the stern look on his face as though he knows I was sneaking something on him. Have you ever seen those commercials where the parents are caught sneaking some ice cream or cereal on their kids? The parents squirm and get all uncomfortable trying to explain away the infraction. That's how I feel. I too get defensive and tell him that he has just eaten an hour ago. Or that he can't have chocolate or sugar or whatever Dad probably shouldn't be eating anyway. The second look is the sad face. This one kills me but I've steeled myself against giving in to this masquerade. The hardest look for me to say "no" to is when he has on his sweetest smile. He closes his eyes ever so slightly and looks at me like I'm the best dad in the whole wide world. A dad who would never sneak a treat on his best friend. That's the one that cuts right through me. I immediately reach up to the top of the fridge where his treats are stored in the red fire hydrant cookie jar and get one of his Trader Joe's peanut butter biscuits or one of his liver krisps from Bones n Scones, the neighborhood natural dog bakery and suddenly all is well again in Morgan's home.