Lucy, my daughter's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, has a big appetite for a little dog. All summer long, she hung out at the base of the fig tree, consuming by far the biggest share of our fig crop. Then, the other day, she had her eye on the fruits of the tangelo tree. Maybe she recognized something edible, or maybe she was just excited to find so many tennis-ball lookalikes clustered in one spot.
Kadi's favorite find-it-yourself treats are the pecans that fall into our yard sometimes (but not this year) from the neighbor's tree just on the other side of the fence. When there's a good pecan crop, Kadi will spend an entire afternoon outdoors, cracking the shells in her jaws and carefully picking out and eating the nutmeats. Butch likes them, too, but not enough to crack them for himself.
One year, when pecans had been plentiful, I bought myself a box of Jordan almonds to snack on while I watched TV. Butch and Kadi appeared at my feet seconds after I sat down with the candy, so I gave each of them one candy-coated almond. Butch stood beside me, crunched three or four times, and his was gone. Kadi took hers around to the other side of the coffee table, lay down where I couldn't see her, and stayed there for several minutes. Every now and then she'd raise her head and look at me with a quizzical expression on her face, then she'd duck down behind the table and get back to business.
Curiosity got the better of me. I got up and walked around to see what was taking Kadi so long. Finally, I understood the problem. Kadi held the almond between her paws. On the carpet in front of her was a neat little pile of pink candy shell pieces she'd expertly--and tediously--removed from the nut.