As Ollie gets older, he appears to want to eat more. Less satisfied with his usual meal and biscuits, he is constantly on the lookout for extra food, especially in the winter. It is hard not to give in to his plaintive stares, and the high-speed wagging of his stumpy tail. But we resist. He gets plenty to eat, and has maintained the same weight for over five years now. From experience of my Mum overfeeding her many dogs, I know that it just isn’t good for them. But Ollie doesn’t agree of course, and has taken to stalking us whenever we are eating anything.
He knows he is not allowed to come into the dining area when we are sat at the table. But he now gets as close as he feels he can, lying in the small hallway, looking sorry for himself as we eat.
Recently, he has started to get some strange noises in his belly. They sound like anything from a washing machine filling up, to the distant rumbling of an imminent storm. This usually happens first thing in the morning, and it seems to worry him. His tail uncurls, and he seeks attention in the form of strokes and cuddles, trying to look around at his own belly, as it squeaks and groans. We can hear it quite loudly, so with his canine capacity for hearing, it must sound like an express train arriving.
The vet was consulted during a recent annual booster jab, and said it was almost certainly ‘just wind’. As long as he was going to the toilet normally, and eating as well as he is, there should be nothing to get worried about. He asked about his food, and suggested it might be a recent change to organic pellets that was giving him more fibre in his diet. Yet another aspect of our dog getting older, it would seem.
But when Ollie is standing next to me, a sad look on his face, tail down, and those swirling sounds coming from his belly, it makes me feel bad.
I just wish he could understand me when I tell him not to worry.