Spencer Food Ritual

toad in dog food bowl
Spencer, our big dog, has an unusual ritual he performs before every meal. He stands in front of the food bowl and gets a serious, yet playful expression on his face and looks to the left and snaps his jaws a few times while wagging his tail, then he looks to the right and does the same thing, he then looks behind him and does it again. Sometimes each direction is accompanied with small barks or snarfles. We believe he's telling anyone around that he's getting ready to eat and no one should disturb him, or sneak up and take his food. He then proceeds to take several pieces of food in his mouth and drops them out on the floor. We think these are offerings to those less fortunate then him.

Spencer is fed outside on the patio in the evening. Several toads have noticed the offerings he leaves and as night time falls the toads emerge from the weeds and hop straight for the food bowl. The evening this photo was shot I repeatedly heard the food bowl scrape across the concrete pavers. I was surprised to find a toad inside the bowl. I guess he had finished the pieces Spencer left outside the bowl and decided to clean up what was left inside. He seemed a little traumatized by the flash on the camera so I didn't try for a better picture. In case you are wondering, yes these are the poisonous to dogs, cane toads, known as sapo here. Our dogs have had encounters with the poison and have learned to largely leave them alone. It appears Spencer feels they are one of the unfortunates and he generously shares food with them.