Friday, April 1, 2011

Id vs. Superego

Shorthairs can be very obedient, well-trained dogs. Their genetics, plus their training, can make them stalwart pointers-of-game, maintaining a point & hold until their hunter comes on the scene to complete the drama. They can hold long down-stays. They can understand relatively complex commands and demonstrate mind-boggling reasoning skills.

But there is one area where GSPs do not shine: they have a very low level of superego where food is concerned.

This morning I decided to make a biftéc jalisco for breakfast/brunch. (Tender strips of grilled beef smothered in a hot salsa and eaten with toasted and buttered tortillas.) I sliced five strips of beef at the work table, turned to the stove for a moment, and when I turned back there were four strips of beef on the cutting board. And a guilty-looking Shorthair sitting next to the work table.

My Rotties always had very highly-developed superegos. They would never have taken anything from the table or the counter. They were very trustworthy in this regard. They liked food, very much, but they could control themselves.

I have learned by now not to push this issue with the Shorthairs. When something "disappears" from the table or the counter it is my fault, not theirs. I should know better, and I do. But this morning was the first time such a robbery had taken place so close, and so quickly. I scolded her, of course, and sent her out of the kitchen. She was very guilty. She knows she isn't supposed to do that. But she can't help herself when the chips are down. Or when the steak looks so good and is right there!

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