White Dog saw my frown as I hugged Nuka to congratulate her for another meal totally eaten but held her tongue until we were alone. "How come you are unhappy with my sister?" she asked. "I am not, Sweet One. I was frowning at how thin she is; her hips and shoulder blades stick out and there is no meat on her rib cage at all."
Nuka is once again back to her normal eating routine but with a diva twist. In the beginning stages of recovery, Dr. Julia gave her permission to eat anything she wanted just as long as she ate. When we were transitioning her back to solid food, Steve discovered that sprinkling the tiny sweet potato star training treats from Wet Noses was like putting candy confetti on kids' oatmeal...it made the meal irresistible. We have tried several times to wean her from the stars (which are organic and healthy), but she turns her nose up at the bowl. When Steve reaches down with the bag and scatters a handful of the 1/8" treats across the top of her mackerel, veggies and rice...or mixes them in with her morning kibble...magic! We figure the few extra calories are good things so we indulge her; the rest of the White Dog Army is convinced that she is receiving preferential treatment.
Another White Dog shows no remaining ill effects from the pancreatitis except for her thinness; she is full of life and spunk. Three and one half pounds is significant if you only weigh nineteen pounds to begin with. Nuka enjoys treats and our duck jerky midday break but she is not a chowhound. She is eating but certainly is not putting on weight at any fast rate. The voice of my Hungarian ancestors channel through me as I think to myself, "this girl needs fattening up, she is way too skinny!" and I try to sneak her extra cookies outside the gaze of any of the others.
I whisper the secret truth to White Dog, the Little White Dog of My Heart and my soul mate, "I am also a bit jealous of the fact that Nuka can eat...is in fact encouraged to eat...anything she wants and that gaining weight is a good thing." White Dog nuzzles my cheek and laughs.