Things were tense there in the train station in Toulouse. My character had been up all night on the flight getting there, and she was hungry. It was lunchtime here, but I wasn't thinking about the here and now. But then my husband opened the door to my studio and called to me from the stairs: "Didn't you hear me yelling out there?"
I hadn't heard a thing. I'd been very far away listening to an imaginary person's stomach grumbling.
"Zoe almost ate a baby groundhog. She came very close to catching it. I kept yelling at her and yelling at her, and she was ignoring me. She chased it to its little lodge in all the sticks, and had her head right inside, but then she finally stopped."
In the old days, if Zoe was in bad dog killer mode, she wouldn't have stopped. We've seen her eat live bunnies. We saw her get scratched up by a little badger when she stuck her snout deep into its hole.
I was so sorry to have missed this. The camera sat on my desk, unused for a couple days now. No groundhogs were photographed on my watch. The picture you see here below of a groundhog and its baby looks exactly like what we see in our yard every morning, but it was taken by someone else:
Later I gave her the Chinese herbs Emily and Don have prescribed to her, in capsule form. I wrapped them in cream cheese and got all six of them down that way. I've started giving her these alternative medicines again this week, in this way. She only eats canned food now, as I mentioned in an earlier post. She's like the daughter of vegans who gets fed up and goes on a hunger strike until they bring her home some burgers and fries. After I gave her these capsules, I sat beside her eating my lunch. Today it was quasi-hippie/farmer fare: an organic salad with arugula and quinoa and chick peas and goat cheese feta and an all-beef hotdog (the beef from a local farm) and Zoe got very interested in my plate. She sat and begged for some hot dog bites. She was so insistent at one point that she grunted, then flashed me a winning smile.
All of this, of course, is extremely bad doggy etiquette. I remember when I first gave her tidbits at an outdoor party when she was a puppy. Before that, it hadn't occurred to her that my food could be hers. Another guest at the party who was an old hand with dogs warned me that Zoe would never not want my food after this. Because of my slip, because I liked having my cute little puppy licking my fingers, forever after, my friend predicted, she would always be a nuisance at dinner parties setting her head in peoples' laps, not all of whom would be as dogcentric as we are. I did it anyway. And I have to tell you that my guests have always said one thing about Zoe's begging: she's polite about it. She does it demurely, quietly, and isn't insistent. But of course these are people who are sitting at our table being wined and dined. What else are they going to say?
But now, Zoe doesn't beg like she used to. When we bring our dinner out to the deck, instead of straining on her tie-out to come up and join us and get in on the action, she sometimes prefers to nap.
So now, when Zoe reverts back to her wolfy ways and stalks a critter, or reverts back to her spoiled-humanized-center-of-the-universe-replacement-for-children ways and asks for me to share what I'm eating with gusto, I am very happy. Her hunger for meat, living or otherwise, is a hunger for life. Bon appetit, Zoe. Bon appetit!