I should have looked at Patches when I felt how heavy she was on my feet.
She is only marginally self-aware, but she is most definitely capable of learning. And she has learned that if she looks at someone eating or preparing food, while drooling slightly and pretending to be starved, she will often be fed.
Especially by the children.
Especially if there is a surplus of food, as there was this year thanks to the ice.
I managed to get across to Rainbow that too much food would make her sick, but the rest of the People—well, I am not sure who has been feeding her (probably everyone) but she looks like a stuffed hide for target practice.
I caught on when I tried to teleport her to one of our favorite walks, near the waterfall. I had to balance her mass for the teleport, and there was close to twice as much as normal. I poked her sides, and found no ribs. Further, as a general rule I have trouble keeping up with her. Today she was panting and lagging before I was tired, and compared with the People I’m still a pretty sorry specimen.
“You,” I told her, “are going on a diet and an exercise program.”
Which means I will have to do a good deal more walking than usual myself. I wonder how the foot-bags would work, of if I could find a cooler place to walk?
If you’re not familiar with Jarn, he’s a human-like alien who was stranded in Africa roughly 125,000 years ago. He has met a group of our ancestors (the People) who are enough like his own people to be company, but lack his esper and empathic abilities. On the other hand their creative and artistic abilities are actually better than his. Before he met them he rescued an African Wild Dog pup, Patches, now 10 years old. His Journal to date is on my author site.