Everything is Bread
On gluttony —
Everything is bread, until it's not. My dog lives with the assumption that any white fleck of paint plastered on a sidewalk or flimsy lid of a discarded takeaway coffee cup is a tasty morsel of soft, soggy bread. It's only when she opens up her elongated snout and attempts to gobble something down that she realizes it is indeed not what she hoped it would be. When failure tastes like recycled plastic and not San Francisco sourdough, it's of no consequence to her though. She simply strains her lead onward, desperately sniffing anything and everything that might be able to be sucked into her belly, like the nozzle of a vacuum grabbing at its surroundings with a grand sweeping motion. Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff. Her short breaths in-and-out of her wet nose are not unlike the pings of an echolocation device resounding off the rain-soaked pavement forever searching for even a crust of an old peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It's a wonder that when she stops but for the brief moment to alleviate herself that her tiny cranium doesn't burst with the mere thought of coming upon a slice of marbled rye. I worry that her gluttony has consumed her. She used to be well above her recommended weight, and we gave ourselves to ensuring she trimmed-up a bit. Perhaps, this is her lashing out at us for our tightening of the leash on her daily regimen of eat, sleep, repeat. She acts as if she hasn't eaten in days; similar to a prisoner, and I'm the guard who keeps her in solitary other than for her brief time of exercise when the clouded sun casts it ambient light into her brownie brown eyes.
It feels terrible when she gazes up at me with her despair filled pupils after I intentionally cross us to the opposite side of the street to avoid a pile of garbage or an old box that once housed greasy Tennesse Fried Chicken. Although I know it's right to restrain her, as to protect her from her incessant urge to consume whatever she sees, the guilt can be overwhelming when she locks those glossy marble eyes with mine. Manipulation or charm, it's often unclear; however, caving-in is usually a result. Thinking that perhaps the next walk might yield a different outcome, I'll surrender some slack to her leash so she can roam more freely. Then, without fail, hope is crushed when she spots some scattered and broken breadcrumbs lying on the ground that the homeless man at the park threw out for the pigeons. It turns out it's not just crumbs but whole slices of nasty, moldy wheat bread. The experience of her stumbling into a stash of baked dough is not unlike when a shark detects blood in the water. In that moment, nothing else matters to her; not life, or death, just bread.