DOLCE & AMORE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG, INC.
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
Article one in the Dolce and Amore Bernese Mountain Dog Articles of Incorporation states feeding time is at five. 5:00 o’clock. Am and pm. Morning and night. Sunrise and sunset, it’s the standardized feeding time. There is no deviation. There is no fudging on the time. No sleeping in, no rolling over for another five minutes of extra sleep. There are no “just a minute” or “hang on a sec” comments. Come 5 o’clock its din-din time. There is no delay, even when daylight savings time flickers on and off. When the day’s timer chimes 5:00 o’clock, it is chow time! NOW!
There are rules and regs to follow at feeding time. Policy set. Bylaws to uphold. 5:00 a.m. and p.m. feeding time is just the start of a long list of statues. I make Dolce and Amore sit before I place their bowls into their stands. Dolce first, then Amore. Well trained, Dolce has this rule down pat. Her hind end touching the floor and staying put before I’ve even picked up her feed bowl. Wiggling and anxious, she understands policy. Dolce recognizes by obeying the directives set forth by Malcolm and I, she’ll get fed that much quicker, that much faster. For Dolce, it’s all about the food and she’ll do anything for food. She is our law-abiding canine, always following the speed limit.
Now, Amore is another story. She already has quite a few violations on her record, her rap sheet multiple pages long. She doesn’t believe in law and order and she definitely doesn’t believe in sitting first. To her, it’s a waste of time. Give her the food bowl and go away. She’ll sit if she knows we are watching her, waiting, but it’s truly a half-ass attempt. Her hind quarters don’t even graze the surface of the bricks. It’s more on par with the California Hollywood Roll as you go through a stop sign.
Article two demands all dog food is manufactured by the finest processors. Measured into equal amounts, treated with extra tasty nibbles, each dog bowl must be prepared by a professionally trained canine sous chef. Translation: Food prep starts an hour prior to the feeding schedule. Using filtered water to moisten the kibbles, mixed in leftover broccoli stems to enhance the flavor and topped with a dollop of peanut butter, per the AOI’s, Dolce and Amore are well fed.
Article two is like the USDA: ensuring all dog food that is consumed is safe, nutritious and sustainable, thus establishing and enforcing regulations about food handing and preparation. All Article two has done is enable Dolce to become our resident peanut butter slut dog. Dolce will do anything for some Skippy. Just say “Yippy-Skippy” and she is on her back, paws in the air, doing her tricks.
Article three of the AOI states no watching. No spy cams. No radar. Amore hates to be under the camera when she eats. She’ll put her head down, muzzle ready to grab a bite, her eyes roving left and right checking for Big Brother. Always on the look out for cops. Heedful of the speed trap. Regulations demand caregivers to step back five plus paces behind, out of visual range. Mind the GAP. Back away.
Article four is all about inspections. After polishing off their food bowls to a shiny and empty bottom, Dolce and Amore reserve the right to examine the other’s food bowl. Haste makes waste and there is nothing the girls hate more than waste. Bowl inspections safeguards against uneaten food, protects against surplus broccoli stems and eliminates any extra leftovers. The first to finish their meal allows for additional time to search out remaining food scraps in the other’s bowl. As Dolce heads over to Amore’s bowl, Amore is rapidly moving towards Dolce’s bin. Muzzles are searching for one last bite, one last morsel, one more crumb. Food bowl inspections are a carefully orchestrated ploy to out maneuver the other canine for one more bite. When it comes to food bowl inspections, the USDA has nothing on the canine,
Article five is the last and sums up the in-between time. The minutes between the a.m. and the p.m. The hours between the sun up and the sunset. The important part. The TREATS! Ah yes, both Dolce and Amore have riders in their contract for the good stuff: pig ears, chew sticks, milk bones and dog cookies. The household policy is to limit their in-take of doggy treats. Good manners and good behavior will garner a dog cookie. A trip to the pet store might merit a pig ear. Article four is based solely on budgetary means and spare change. And if I’m in a good mood. And usually only adhered to on weekends and holidays.
As employed staff, it is Malcolm’s and my primary responsibility, concern and purpose to ensure that all dog food is manufactured and consumed by the 5:00 o’clock mark on the day’s timer. Treats are optional.