Lesson # 5: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Posted by on 04.30.08 | No Comments
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So on a post last week, “The Dog’s in Heaven and the Cat’s in Jail” in a follow up comment, I came to Geronimo’s (aka Damn Dog’s) defense. I wrote about 4 things that he has been teaching us about living and loving. Here’s one I forgot, and since it’s an important one, thought I’d write a whole post about it.

Lesson #5 about why G-dog is such a good teacher: he almost exclusively eats meat, preferably raw. This ‘quirk’, if I look at it from the perspective of most dogs’ diets, is odd, if not alarming. I’ve had lots of dogs in my life, and they’ve all loved variety in their food. One craved cantalope, others have loved cottage cheese, raw eggs, apples, even citrus fruit. I’ve done a fair bit of reading about making healthy food for dogs, rather than buying processed stuff. This combo often includes raw meat, olive oil, fruit, vegetables, a little dairy, other goodies.

And then along comes Geronimo who will have nothing to do with a vegetable, fruit or grain. He eats only a smidge of dairy. He loves a little butter pat now and then,and frozen hotdogs are a treat. But his basic food is just raw meat, a la carte.

At first I was alarmed at the singularity of what he will eat–that can’t be healthy, can it? Thinking about my own diet: I grew up as a farm girl on bread, meat and potatoes…became a vegetarian in my young adulthood, and then went back to eating meat in my 40′s. I may become a vegan at some time in the near future. The variety of foods and diet seems to be what my body craves. But here’s a mammal that only eats one thing…my curiosity and alarm were proportionate.

So I began to watch him closely. He’s 9 years old. He runs like a horse, never lame or stiff. His eyes are bright, never with goop in them, although I think he has a slight cataract in one of them. His nose is almost always cold and moist. He’s lean but not skinny. So…his singular diet fits him to a T.

In researching huskys (and on the side the possibility of him having some wolf blood) it turns out that they really like only meat. They’re efficient eaters and digesters–they don’t eat what they don’t need, unlike many other possibly more domesticated breeds. (There’s a concept that deserves a whole post by itself!)

So this lesson is a good one: don’t try to fix what ain’t broke.

This is one that I have to learn over and over again. But G-dog is a patient and therefore powerful, teacher. I can see his robustness in front of my skeptical eyes every day. What beauty there is here…accepting life on life’s terms. Ah, I can feel some rest of spirit coming through that statement.

Thanks, Geronimo, for your lovely presence in our lives. In your quiet, reserved, persnickity way, you are teaching us a lot.

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