Kids – they grow up so fast….

…and even faster when they’re dogs.

The photo below was taken a few days ago.  We use puzzle bowls to slow down meal time for these two food hounds we call Kali and Kloe.  The bowls have a pattern with varying shapes and depths.  It’s a great way to avoid bloating and extend by several minutes  one of  their absolute favorite activity of the day.

Kloe’s bowl is the green one that she’s standing next to.  Kloe recently graduated from a very simple puzzle bowl – four big sections – to the green one that used to be Kali’s.  Even when you’re a pup if you’ve got an older sibling you get hand me downs, right?  The first few days I’d had to help Kloe with the last few pieces of kibble or veggies but she quickly learned that if the crevice where the food was sitting is a bit too deep for her tongue that she could push the food to a more shallow area and gobble it up.  It still takes her several minutes to finish eating but that’s the point.

Kali’s got the new orange bowl with slightly more difficult terrain.   It has deeper crevices and the design is more challenging.  If you look closely in the photo you can see that there is a small piece of apple that she couldn’t get out.  She had resigned herself not completely solving the puzzle during this particular meal and after an extended attempt to get her tongue to do the job she laid down to lament her failure.

Kali and Kloe are very respectful of one another at meal time.  When Kloe was very young she made the mistake of trying to get a piece of kibble out of Kali’s bowl while Kali was eating.  Kloe wasn’t much more than 9 weeks old and as gentle as Kali had been with her, and continues to be now, Kali made sure that Kloe never did that again.  A stern growl and nip to Kloe’s ear drew a little blood and high pitched yelps and the lesson was served.  Kali has been a great teacher and this was a tough but important lesson for Kloe at an early age.

On this day Kloe kept her distance and eventually sauntered over to the orange bowl and I snapped the photo as these two went nose to nose in a dinner time stare down.  They stayed in this stare down for several seconds until I – the diplomat that I am – dislodged the apple chip and gave a small piece to each of them.

Kloe has been in our pack for two months.  She was just nine weeks old when we brought her home.  It’s been so great to see her grow and mature.  Much of the maturity can be attributed to Holly’s daily training sessions and to Kali’s mentoring.

The video below the photo was taken when Kloe was about 10 weeks old and right before we moved from our home in Livermore to Tuolumne.  The video shows a small pup – not even half her size now – with the same tenacious and playful personality that I have come to adore.

Kids – they grow up so fast!

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Dinner time stare down at the Golden K Corral

7 Comments

Kloe has really grown so much! And I loved the video of the two of them playing…Kloe is adorable and Kali is beautiful. It is lovely to see the two of them getting along so well.
I might try one of those puzzle boxes for my daughter’s dog. She eats so quickly on her own that she often chokes on it. I’ve taken to standing by her dish, just dropping in one piece of kibble at a time so she’ll actually chew it. Thanks for the idea!

Kloe has added 20+ pounds in two months and she is still so skinny (and tall). Her feet are already as big as Kali’s. I think Kloe is going to be a big girl somewhere around 70 pounds or so. The puzzle bowls were a great solution for Kali and now Kloe. Goldens are so food motivated and passionate about their meals. “They” say that the bowls are also good for mental stimulation. It’s defiantly worth a try. Don’t start with the hardest one because your daughter’s dog may get frustrated. I’d start with the simplest one and work up from there. Costs more that way but hey – it’s only money right? 🙂

Yep, it’s only money! And I think it might help Harley a lot, so it’s worth a try. We have volunteers who do kennel enrichment at the shelter where I volunteer, and they do sometimes bring in basic puzzles for the dogs to provide them with mental stimulation. One way or another, they sound like a very good thing!

We tried one of those puzzle bowls with Ray for exactly the same reason. Sadly, it did not work. He got so frustrated with it that he’d pick it up and toss it around! Now we just give him his food in a regular dog bowl, and add some appropriate doggy things in order to give him some obstructions to work around! As a compromise, it works relatively well. 🙂

It certainly did. He is a big “boy” with very good neck muscles, and when one of those puzzle trays goes flying across the kitchen, one has to step back and think “There has to be another way!”

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