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Ginko: The Kitchen Marauder Continues

First, it was a ham sandwich, left unattended while I took Lilly for a walk. Then, a couple days later, Ginko went after bigger kitchen game. Yep. While he isn’t as book or training smart as Lilly, Ginko certainly learns quickly when food is involved. Especially forbidden food.

After a long day drafting a veterinary trade magazine article on equine safety, I shed the iPod and stumbled into the kitchen to scare up dinner. While Tom manned the grill and attended to our burgers, I baked some potatoes and diced a bevy of condiments.

I tend to multitask while I cook. I listen to the news. I continue to check email and visit blogs. I run back and forth, focusing on various things all at once … because protecting dinner or food is typically NOT my main concern.

During one such foray out one of two kitchen doors into the living room to catch something on the news, I heard a plate slide. Just as I rounded the corner, I saw Ginko slinking out the other kitchen door with a mouthful of hamburger bun. I hollered. Of course, I hollered because I had indeed caught him in the act, but to no avail … he gulped that final bun with one defiant swallow.

Thankfully, he did not choke.

Tom came running inside in response to the ruckus, and when I told him what had just happened, he asked what became a fateful question.

What happened to that cantaloupe that was on the counter?

Yep. Sometime during the day, while Tom worked outside and I slaved away in my office, tuning out the world via earbuds, Ginko knocked 1/2 to 3/4 of a ripe cantaloupe off the counter and proceeded to feast away.

His dog bed was soggy from all the juice, and we found a trail of seeds all over the house.

The pattern, my friends, is set. Ginko has now scored three major food items off the counter. Lesson learned — for him and us.

So, we’ve greatly amped up our food vigilance.

I’m tempted to booby trap the kitchen to discourage his sudden and growing boldness, but I fear any such efforts might really freak out Lilly. I suppose we could rig something up next time Lilly and I head into town for a while, but I sincerely hope a little more attention on our part will break this habit before he makes himself sick or gets into something he really shouldn’t have.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

lin - November 14, 2009

How about the ScatMat strip? It’s about 3 inches wide by 46 inches long, which would make it a little awkward to work over, but not impossible. Since there’s no noise, Lilly shouldn’t be too startled, unless Gingko yelps really easily. The Amazon review isn’t very complimentary, but we have had no trouble with our full-size one

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell - November 13, 2009

The image of seeds all over the house made me laugh too. Sorry. 🙂 My pit will get things off of the counter and we have to watch her as well. At book club today, I remembered leaving a newly baked loaf of pumpkin bread on the counter. I just knew it wouldn’t be there when I got home.
Luckily, Sade must not like pumpkin bread.

MarthaandMe - November 13, 2009

We also have a food thief. I try to push everything away from the edge of the counter and if there is any actual food sitting out, I try to put a gate across the door when I’m not in the room. It’s frustrating to be ever-vigilant about this.

Sam - November 12, 2009

Wow, seems he’s taken the snack snatching to new heights. Sounds like you lost the luxury of leaving edibles out on the counter for a while.. silly dog!

Dog-geek - November 12, 2009

A canteloupe? Really?!? Ginko! Well, you know what they say – three times makes a habit.

The only time I tried to booby trap something (about a zillion years ago, to prevent my roommate’s dog from counter surfung and trash picking) it was an abject failure. The dog didn’t seem to have been bothered at all by the booby trap going off – still stole the food and was rewarded yet again.

I would probably opt to try setting him up so that you can catch him in the act – but *before* he gets his mouth on the goods. Start screaming bloody murder as soon as those front feet start coming up off the floor. Do you have a web cam? Or maybe you can just be extra sneaky so he doesn’t know you are watching.

Sheryl - November 12, 2009

I’m sorry, Roxanne, but this post made me laugh. I grew up with dogs that would eat anything and everything, but now have a little Bichon who is so picky. If something falls to the floor, she’ll amble over to sniff it, look up at me as if to ask if it’s okay to eat. Then she usually daintily eats it and ends up spitting it out! Hope your dog doesn’t get into something that’ll make him sick 🙂

Maery - November 12, 2009

Strange that this would start all of the sudden. I think trying to keep any temptations out of site and reach to stop it from becoming a habit is a good idea. I left frozen chicken on the counter fully intending to put it in the frig before I left for work. Java is behind her gate but she can easily escape if she wants to so I’m hoping she doesn’t smell it. It figures I’d do this on a day that I will get home later than normal. Sheesh!

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