Every once in a while, my dog Tucker throws me for a loop. Actually, it’s probably more than every once in a while but I refuse to admit otherwise. I insist on holding onto the thought that I am smarter than my dog although there are moments when I start to wonder if he isn’t one step ahead of me.

This week, the moments started with a pill.

Let me tell you a little about Tucker and you’ll see what I’m up against.

Tucker is a 12 year old golden retriever and was my only dog for the first 6 years of his life so he’s used to being a little catered to. Now he has The Puppy Grady to contend with and there are times where he appears to have had enough of the little pup. I know this because I get “the look” from Tucker when Grady is barking his fool head off and Tucker seems to think that I’m not intervening fast enough.  Nonetheless, I think Tucker would agree he has a pretty good life. His hobbies include sleeping, eating, barking at The Puppy Grady, sleeping, short walks, car rides, eating treats and, well, more sleeping.  I admit, you gotta be well rested to hang with The Puppy Grady.

Did I mention how wicked smart Tucker is?  I know everyone thinks their dog is intelligent (and most dogs are) but Tucker is a little different.  A friend of mine once commented, “Most dogs are smart but Tucker has a plan.” And, like many smart ones, he’s got a stubborn streak.  Once he’s made up his mind about something, there’s little to do to change it.

You have to trick him.

Now I’ll admit I’m not proud of the fact that its come to this but I have no choice.  The vet has ordered me to give Tucker a pill, once a day, for fourteen days.  (I think she actually giggled when she told me).

The problem is that Tucker is no longer the trusting pup of his youth. In his younger days, Tucker would eat anything you gave him and then go back for seconds and thirds, like he was at an all you can eat buffet.  No matter what it was, he ate it, without hesitation or complaint.  I could sneak all sorts of stuff in his food and it didn’t matter.  Tucker gulped it down as if it was the last food he would ever get.

Now Tucker thoroughly inspects every treat, every bowl of food, as if he is a bomb sniffing dog.  Any scent that he judges to be out of the ordinary results in a flat out refusal to eat.  Talk about throwing down the gauntlet.

Well, Tucker, game on!  For the next 14 days I am on a mission to get Tucker to take his pill.  I am well rested, have consulted numerous friends for suggestions, established a strong support system and read a book on espionage and one on magic tricks.  The pantry is stocked with a variety of foods, both human and canine.

I am ready.



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