Everyone knows that Charlie Murphy (the dog, not the comedian) is my main man, my sidekick, my little stalker, and the sweetest love nugget around.  I’m not the only one who knows it either.  People around the neighborhood know his name and his distinctive floppy-eared swagger. And the regulars at the local park all know him as a playboy.  Sure, he takes his time to sniff the perimeter of the place every time, but once he’s settled, he’ll start mixing and mingling with all the ladies (and some of his bros).

Dog Park

I believe that in order to make and keep my dog happy, I’ve got to do nice things for him every now and again.  That’s why I take him to the park or on little excursions at least once a week.  After we discovered Charlie has a thing for feet and dirty socks, I started making it my nightly ritual to give him my used socks in the form of “sockie bombs”.  (I basically just ball up my socks and make a falling bomb sound when I throw them at him.)  That might sound gross, but that’s what true love, isn’t it?  I consider it on par with being able to go to the bathroom with the door open while your spouse is in the next room.

Charlie socks

The most obvious way I treat Charlie is with food.  Sure, he’s got his own special dog treats that he loves, but we’ve discovered some foods we eat that he’s especially fond of:

  • Bananas—They’ve got to be super ripe though, like fresh from the grocery store.  If they’ve been sitting in our pantry for more than a day or two, he’ll turn his nose up at you and walk away.
  • Blueberries—But only if you remove the skin for him.
  • Chicken—I always have leftover chicken from dinner, so whenever I’ve made poached chicken, I make sure to give him half a breast.
  • Cheerios—I occasionally mix in a small handful with his kibble for breakfast and he thinks he’s getting to eat breakfast just like us.
  • Peanut butter—Obvious.
  • Rice
  • Hamburger—I know this isn’t great to give him (nor is it good for me to eat these too often myself), so I only give him the tiniest bit (maybe the size of an eraser) once a month.
  • Salmon
  • Pumpkin—I made the mistake of mixing in his old heartworm medicine—which smelled of patchouli and probably tasted just as bad—with his pumpkin.  Sadly, he hasn’t gone near pumpkin since.  I’m hoping next fall he’ll have forgotten about it and will let me give him pumpkin again.
  • Sweet potato

I actually just found out that sweet potato is good for dogs, so I thought I’d give it a go yesterday.  I cooked up two big sweet potatoes with the intention of eating most of it myself and then letting him try it out.  I scooped out probably a quarter of a cup of sweet potato and tossed it into his bowl.  I let it cool for a couple minutes and then I put it back down.

There was absolutely no hesitation.  He dove right in and scarfed all the potato down.  Then he stalked me as I walked over to my desk to eat my own sweet potato.  I sat in my chair and tried to take my time eating as I worked on reviewing some copy I had just gotten in.  You know that feeling you get when you know someone’s watching you?  Yeah, I had that going on real bad.  So then I looked down to find this:

He sat there the entire time I ate looking just like that.  Look at him with his under-bite out on full display and his eyes looking all glassed-over and crazy.  Was definitely not expecting that when I gave him sweet potato!

I love my Charlie Murphy, but sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t love my cooking more than he loves me.