My mother calls me to the kitchen, “Can you help with the dogs?”
“Yes!” I jump off my bed (where I spend most of my time these days).
She’s putting the final touches on their dinner, a cup each of dry bickies. I pick up two bowls, the smallest and the second smallest for Angus and Fuzz respectively. I push open the sliding back door with my foot and mum and I push through the jumping dogs into the back yard.
“Molly! Cash!” mum calls, walking to the left.
“Fuzz! Angus!” I say, walking to the right. They know the routine by now so they all behave.
“Sit.” I say and they sit. On the other side of the outdoor table I can hear mum handling the other two similarly.
“Stay,” I say. They don’t. I raise the bowls and try again. On the third try it works, so at least they haven’t completely forgot their old training. We stay outside while they eat, there’s been one too many skirmishes to trust them alone. Angus is of the opinion that the visitors should pay a tithe in the form of their dinner for staying in his home. Molly, twice his size, disagrees.
When Angus has finished eating, earlier than the others, I throw biscuits around the brick courtyard to distract him. Once everyone is done we bring the bowls back inside to avoid incident. This is how we feed the dogs.