While Sprocket eats, you can easily see that the other two, both long since finished with cleaning out their own bowls, are anxiously awaiting Sprocket to finish so they can go to her bowl to eat whatever little bit she leaves behind. We have had Pepe for about 2 years now and he learned quickly from Hexi that good things await them in Sprocket's bowl once she has had her fill. This lesson took awhile though, Pepe used to try to run in and grab something right from the bowl as Sprocket was chowing down only to be snapped at by Sprocket. He learned his lesson for the most part, but now that Sprocket is so old she is slower than she was with a young Hexi years ago, and sometimes Pepe still makes an attempt that is sometimes fruitful for him. Hexi used to try but also learned her lesson after being thoroughly scared by Sprockets growls and snapping jaws.
The thing is the lesson was learned and is now being forgotten. over the past several months, Sprocket has slowed down a lot. She is about 17 or 18 years old by our best estimations. We got her when she was about 4 or 5 and have had her 13 years now. She is getting really old, and with old age comes the joys of the 'golden years', or so they are called. Both Hexi and Pepe have picked up on this big recent change in Sprocket's speed; and as I said Pepe still sometimes makes a dash for Sprocket's bowl, and he grabs a morsel before she can react. Hexi has seen this and has seen Sprocket slow down, and she has become more brazen too. I guess the pictures will show it all.
In the first picture above, Pepe and Hexi wait patiently for Sprocket to finish her supper; their own bowls, both quite empty, can be seen in the background. Sprocket takes so much time chewing her food as she eats though that Pepe and Hexi are soon beyond the limits of remaining patient as can be seen in the second picture. Not too brazen yet, but certainly wanting Sprocket to hurry up, finish, and get away from her bowl. Sprocket doesn't even notice, she never did when they were that far away. She really never cared unless one of them got really close to the bowl. Then she would tell them what for, and remind them who was/is the leader of the pack.
Of course, with food at stake Hexi, the canine vacuum cleaner of all things edible, can barely withhold her urges to get some more. She is a true glutton, and if we allowed her to do so, she would turn herself into something that would rival the Goodyear blimp for girth relative to length. She is no fool though, and she know that if she tries to get right into Sprocket's bowl, Sprocket will give her a quick reprimand. Yet when she sees an opportunity, she goes for it. She is no slouch when it comes to grabbing a morsel, and if you look closely at the third picture, you will see a morsel tempting her, almost as if calling her name and saying: "eat me".
So she starts to make a move, right through Sprockets legs. I can assure you, a move like that in the past would have wound up with Sprocket giving a snarl, a snap of her jaws, and Hexi soon on the run to the safety of the living room. As it turned out tonight, yes these pics are from tonight, Hexi was able to make it all the way to the fallen crumb, and snatch it up without Sprocket doing more than looking over at her. Maybe that was because of old age, or maybe because Sprocket was just about full; she finished her supper just a moment or two later, and then took her inevitable walk to the water bowl for a long drink. Once she did that, the remaining few bits and pieces in her bowl were open for poaching by both Hexi and Pepe.
As you can see from the final picture, they both pig out in mutual glee once Sprocket's muzzle had vacated her bowl. Funny thing is though, if Hexi or Pepe were to try to steal food from the other's respective bowl there would be trouble for sure; it's just at Sprocket's bowl where they dine in mutual satisfaction without guarding the food. By the way, any of the family can go to any of the dogs' bowls, while they are eating, and take food out of them without fear of reprisal from them. The dogs know who are the bosses. The pack mentality is a wonderful thing, and as seen, quite amusing at times.
All the best,
Dedicated to Milo, a good friend of Sprocket's, who is now in dog heaven eating steaks and taking it easy.