I readily admit it, I’m taste challenged. Just one more item on the long list of things my dog has taught me.
I was wondering if my big dog was becoming a fresh water snob. She was suddenly turning down water only a couple of hours old and insisting I give her fresh water from the little dog’s bowl instead. It was puzzling to say the least.
When we got a second dog several months ago, we naturally got all the paraphernalia that goes with a puppy. And since she was of the lap dog variety, everything was scaled way down from our Labrador Retriever’s stuff. That was fine, until we started to notice that the lab, Queenie, hereinafter referred to as Q, (not to be confused with James Bond’s humorless tech guru) was no longer drinking out of her big water bowl, but drinking instead from the other dog’s smaller one. It required constant refilling. No amount of coaxing could get her back to her own bowl.
To add to the mystery, the pup, Bella, hereinafter referred to as B, (not to be confused with the flying, stinging insect) drank water from either bowl at first, but as she grew, she too rejected the water in the big bowl. It seems that in the animal world at least, size does not matter. But taste buds do.
Here’s a scientific fact that you can file away for future reference (or forget about altogether, as you do with all my other posts)….though dogs only have 1700 taste buds as opposed to humans’ 9000, theirs are divided between food and water taste buds. Humans have no water taste buds whatsoever. Of course, everyone knows that dogs have an extremely keen sense of smell, but who knew they could smell and taste water?
Back to the mystery. Q really got our curiosity up to the point we decided to investigate. Both of the dogs’ bowl were silver metallic Q’s bowls were older, naturally, but there was a more important difference. They were aluminum, whereas B’s were stainless steel. The light bulb started to glow brightly (the one in my thought bubble, not the one in the room). Of such things is genius born. We went to the pet store, bought a big stainless steel bowl, and the rest, as they say, is l’histoire. (I’m still working on why I’m suddenly speaking French). Turns out that as aluminum suffers wear and tear (from use, washing, etc.) its protective oxide coating can get damaged and it starts to react with water. Q, with her sensitive tongue, was not being finicky, but health conscious. In B’s case, as her “water buds” finally developed, she too became more H2O discriminate.
Well, as the saying also goes, a picture is worth a thousand words………I know, too late.
Bella and Queenie enjoying water from their new family sized stainless steel bowl. The moral to the story: always mind your B’s and Q’s.