Sometimes, we have to trick our dog Trudy into eating. One nearly fail-safe method is to play catch with a few pieces of kibble. After about three she will begin eating out of her bowl. I'm not sure if she gets the idea that she should eat or if the taste of a few pieces whets her appetite. Either way it gets the job done.
Every time I throw food for Trudy Otis comes and sits expectantly, so I throw food to him too. Usually the kibble hits him somewhere in the face and he scrambles for the rebound. However, yesterday morning after the usual "Otis, ready ... catch" he actually opened his mouth in an attempt to catch on his turn. Excited I praised his effort as he scrambled for the missed food.
After Trudy's turn, I decided to try Otis again, hoping to reinforce his attempt, but not expecting much. This time Otis caught it! I was overjoyed and gave him lots of praise! Brian overheard the commotion from the stairs, confirmed what he was hearing was true and wished he could have seen it. Then he too praised Otis with some pats and said with delighted surprise, "Otis! You're not stupid!"
This morning Trudy required another round of kibble toss. And as Otis waited for his turn he had the same kind of crazed look Trudy gets while fetching at the dog park, quivering with excitment. I paused a little too long after saying ready and he sprang up directly in front of me. Hilarious! He missed that one, but was able to catch the next. A light bulb must have gone on. So our boy may be slow, but he's not stupid.