03:18:51 pm on
Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Gandalf Versus the Bowl
AJ Robinson

I remember watching the old Peanuts specials on television: Halloween, Christmas, even Arbor Day, for Pete’s sake! I could count on Snoopy to deliver laughs, especially when he went after the Red Baron or when he’d carry his food dish around. In one episode, he even tossed his food dish around, caught it, spun it and bounced it with his foot. Well, I know a dog that does that in real life.

Gandalf, a small dog, versus the bowl, which is large.

Our dog, Gandalf, little Mister Fluffy, has taken to playing with his food bowl. Now, mind you, this is a full-sized regular dog dish. We got it back when we had Romeo; Juliet used it and now Gandy.

This food dish is so big, he Gandalf can stick his whole head in it and he loves it when we give him his dinner. In fact, he loves it so much that when he’s done eating he picks his bowl up and plays with it. Again, keep in mind that this is a tiny dog and a big bowl. When he grips the bowl in his teeth and walks away with it, he literally can’t see what’s in front of him!

He typically carries the bowl to the centre of the living room, so he can put on a show for us. Gandalf starts by chewing on it. The bowl has been around the house for years without a scratch. Now there are chew marks all over it. Then, taking it by the bottom edge, he tosses it in the air like a Frisbee. I know there are plenty of dogs that love to chase and catch Frisbees, but here we have a dog who actually loves to throw one. Now, given their relative size and his strength, he can’t exactly throw it very far.

That never seems to bother him. He still loves doing it!

Gandalf takes large bowl to his small bed for a nap.

Then there’s the next step: bed. When Gandy truly loves something, he likes to put it in his little doggy bed. At any given moment, he generally has two or three toys sitting in there.

At some point, usually when he tires, he’ll carry the bowl over to his bed and plopped it in there. We fitted the bed for Gandalf. The bowl pretty much takes up about half of the open space, which means there’s little room left for him.

He doesn’t let that get in his way. Somehow and I’m hard pressed to figure out how, he does manage to crawl into bed, with his bowl, and whichever of his toys happen to be in it at the time. This is when he has break time. He’ll lie there, panting quite hard from all his hard work and catch a few minutes of rest.

Large bowl as Frisbee for small dog.

After that, it’s time to play again. Grabbing the bowl again, sometimes by the top edge, which is rounded and hard to grip, he carries it away. Now it’s time to bang it against the furniture, roll it on the floor and occasionally stomp on it. It truly amazes us how one small dog can have so much fun tossing around an empty food bowl.

Finally, exhausted and he has worked off a few of the calories from dinner, he’ll abandon the bowl, in some corner, and flop down to sleep. Talk of an odd little workout, for one crazy little dog.


Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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