On Sunday the 1st, during my visit to the Portland Powell’s with friend D, I received a call from the folks caring for Gaby to let me know that she hadn’t eaten since I dropped her off the previous Thursday afternoon. She had eaten breakfast and lunch that day at home, and nothing had appeared amiss. Now, she would sniff the bowl, sometimes nibble a bit, then walk away.

I confess this took the wind out of my sails. She had stayed at this place before, and while she had occasionally skipped a meal, well, she does that at home. She still ate most of her food. I worried that stress might trigger her IBD. I worried about a lot of things. I had recently switched her food, but had provided enough of her old food to see her through her stay just in case. They tried it. Nope. Hamburger? A nibble. Treats? A nosh. Prescription food that they picked up from my vet? Nope. In all other ways, she was fine. Loved her activities. Bouncy and tail-waggy. She just refused to eat.

During this search for something/anything Gaby would eat, she vomited bile, the sign of an empty stomach. At this point, I considered cutting my vacation short and going home even though I was having a great time. (It was at this time that my friends’ cat, Singer, decided to settle into my lap. I swear that cat knew I was upset.) I talked with an animal behaviorist friend of D & D’s. I talked with my vet.

Finally, the following Thursday, they tried cooked chicken and rice. Gaby ignored the rice, but ate some of the chicken. Problem solved, one hoped. I was concerned about the transition from duck to chicken and whether she would even eat the duck food again, but first things first. She needed to eat.

I picked up the Dynamic Duo today. King led me out to the car with intent, then whimpered when I shut him in the car and LEFT HIM BEHIND AGAIN to go get Gaby. When she saw me, Herself wriggled and rolled over while I rubbed her tum and told her that I would always come back for her. Apparently she was a little diva. Her eating remained spotty, and she often had to be fed by hand. I discussed future options with caregiver–different feeding methods, etc–then headed home.

At home, I released the hounds of Worry and Self-Recrimination. They ran around, drank water, peed, sniffed, and ran some more. When they came inside, I tested Gaby by giving her a hypoallergenic biscuit, which she chomped as she always did. Later, she vacuumed a lunch of her usual duck & sweet potato. She declined dinner, but she spent most of the afternoon napping so we could blame fatigue for this refusal. She doesn’t eat when she’s tired. Definitely not a food-driven dog.

Later, she made ready to jump on the couch, then stopped. Something was different–I had removed the sheet that covers her end of the couch because it needed a wash. Gaby looked at the uncovered end, then at me, and being a good servant, I dragged myself downstairs and retrieved the clean sheet. Spread it over the couch. Herself pronounced it good and has been dozing off and on ever since. King has been trying to grab some couch time all day, but Gaby ain’t budging.

I’ve heard it said that dogs have owners while cats have staff. I think Gaby was raised with cats.