THE BLOG
05/08/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Dog Does Not Practice Mindful Eating

I love my dog. I bet that sentence could be written by a lot of you. I really love my dog a lot. Her name is Cody and she is a black-tri Australian Shepherd. Aussies are actually from America, so I have no idea how she got her name.

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Aussies, in general, and Cody in particular, are extremely smart herding dogs. She was bred to herd sheep. I have heard Cesar, the dog whisperer, say things like, "Dogs don't know how long you've been gone." Cody knows. If I leave for 10 minutes, she is happy to see me come home. If I leave for a few hours, she is really happy to see me. If I go on a trip, she runs around like a loon for about five minutes because she is so happy to see me, she can't contain her little fur ball self. If only people would act like that when we see them.

Anyway, there is a big trend right now called mindfulness. It's not new, of course, but it's back in vogue again. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment. Dogs are masters at being in the moment. If I tell Cody, "Maria is coming today," she starts looking for her right now. She doesn't understand later.

Mindful eating is all about paying attention to the food. When you practice mindful eating you are supposed to eat without doing anything else. No reading, no watching TV, no computer, nothing but eating. While you are eating you are to pay attention to the taste, the texture and savor each bite as it goes down. You are to put your fork, or spoon, down after each bite and eat slowly. This technique is supposed to help you eat less, as it takes the brain a while to register fullness. If you can do it, it does work.

So back to my dog Cody; if dogs are so good at being in the moment, why does she inhale her food? I wonder if she even tastes it. It is amazing how fast she eats regardless of whether it is a special treat or her usual food. Can you even teach a dog mindful eating or can you mindfully eat, really fast?

I am quite certain that given the opportunity, Cody would eat until she couldn't eat anymore and would be obese. We give her just enough to keep her healthy and fit, but for a creature so in the moment, my dog does not practice mindful eating. Does yours?

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