Rascal gets his dinnertime meal and gobbles it down as per usual as we eat our dinner. Then, he waits hopefully for something extra, which, if we think he really is hungry (or he looks pathetic enough), we give him after we finish eating. Then, he gets his rawhide bone to chew on for a little while after dinner.
But he doesn't chew it... at least, not right away. First, he must begin "the hunting."
He usually brings it over to his bed, drops it in, walks away a few steps, then stares at it intently for a minute or so. Suddenly, he pounces on it, but he doesn't start chewing on it. No, he is not finished yet.
Following that, for the next five, ten, or sometimes fifteen minutes, Rascal will put on the most impressive version of hunting a shih tzu could muster, complete with growls, sneak attacks and barking. He will grab his bed and shake it fiercely (usually shaking the bone loose and losing it under the sofa for a while). He will paw and lunge and drag his bed for several circuits around the coffee table. I'm often on the floor on my yoga mat while this is happening. I've been circled many a time by this spectacle, and I'm often bumped out of pose by his shenanigans.
And then, as suddenly as it started, it will end. He will either settle down and start chewing, or plop himself down and fall asleep.
I watched him this evening, wondering why he just didn't sit down and chew his bone like other dogs do. Then, I thought to myself, "Maybe it just doesn't taste as good if he doesn't work for it.
And there, friends, is the lesson:
Rewards are sweeter if you work for them. The more you sweat, the more you get. Nobody ever gets to the top of the mountain by landing on it. Yada yada yada...
But it's a good reminder, especially when I get to the end of a long, tiring day, and I feel like I just can't do another day like that again... forget about the fitness goals, the knitting projects, the big work plans... I give up...
No, it'll be worth it. The rawhide ain't as chewy if you don't toss it around a bit first. That's what he would say, I think...