My Dog Likes Bananas

Gracie the dog loves bananas.

I don't remember exactly when this first became evident, but it probably had something to do with The Boy (who was around 6 at the time) dropping part, or more likely, a whole banana on the ground (by "mistake" or "on purpose" is never exactly clear to that age group), and The Dog hovered it up in record time. Keeping in mind that Gracie doesn't actually chew food as much as inhale it, I'm sure it took more than a whole nanosecond to actually register that residual taste in her mouth as "extremely-yummy-and-how-can-I-get-more?"

What has followed in the nine years since can only be described as Banana Stalking: if you have a banana, the dog is nearby, count on it. She may be hiding under the table with only her wet, black nose peeking out from under the tablecloth; or her blonde head might be s-l-o-w-l-y looming up from behind the sofa as you watch TV. If you are not in the 1-6 year-old age bracket (i.e., more likely to drop it), she will usually initiate "begging mode" like you have never seen before: in less than four seconds, she will have you convinced she hasn't eaten in over a month. She can suck in her cheeks, and even make her eyes well-up with tears. The message those eyes send is: "If you take pity on me and share your banana, you will be my most favoritest person ever."

I'm convinced Gracie is the model for Minions banana madness.

It never mattered if the banana was still green or well past the stage when it should be baked into banana bread. Gracie can actually hear a banana skin being stripped. You can be on the other side of the house, she'll be sound asleep, but once you snap that banana skin, she is right there, wiggling all over with anticipation, and we rarely turn her down.

In the last year or so, however, we have noticed Gracie has become a little more discerning of her banana tributes: she wants to sniff the banana first. If it doesn't meet her new-found standards (whatever they are), her ears go down and she turns away sadly, saying "No, no, it's all right. It's not your fault it isn't edible. . I'll eat next month."

She only likes them now when they are perfectly ripe.

Unfortunately, I have no idea of what "perfectly ripe" actually means to her.

My dog is now a Banana Snob.

The same dog who believes backyard rabbit poop is manna from heaven, is picky about the ripeness of her banana.

Gracie absolutely refused to eat the banana in her dish this morning. She'd take it out and drop it on her dish mat. I'd put it back in her bowl as I passed through the kitchen. After several rounds of this, she took it out, walked across the kitchen, and dropped it over by the counter where the garbage can is stashed and walked away from it. I can take a hint. I removed the offending banana and relocated it in the trash.

Maybe my little girl is growing up.

But I do kinda miss the stalking.