We have four dogs, one of whom has a drinking problem. It’s not medical. We’ve checked it out with any number of veterinarians and there is nothing physically wrong with Bishop. He merely drinks a lot of water. Actually, he probably drinks a normal amount of water, but he drinks it all at once. When he begins drinking, he goes on for what seems forever.

Three amigos

Three amigos looking down on “owner”

Not surprisingly, when he has to pee, he releases an ocean. It’s absolutely tidal.

Now, the mystery.

Bishop Almost Christmas

With four dogs, we have two water bowls. A big blue-green plastic one that’s bigger than some dogs, and a somewhat smaller stainless steel bowl. They sit side by side on the floor in the kitchen. The stainless bowl used to be on the left, the plastic bowl on the right. For reasons of convenience (mine), I switched them a while ago, so now the big plastic bowl is on the left, and the stainless steel bowl on the right. No big deal, right?


Bishop used to drink entirely from the stainless steel bowl. We assumed he preferred the taste of water from the steel bowl, but when I switched the position of the bowls, Bishop began drinking exclusively from the plastic bowl. Apparently he will only drink from the left-hand bowl.

I was just in the kitchen and Bishop was standing over the empty plastic bowl, obviously sad because there was no water. Directly next to it, the stainless bowl was full. But he wouldn’t drink from it. He will only drink from the bowl on the left.

All the other dogs will drink from either bowl, apparently without preference.

Ideas anyone?

Categories: Anecdote, Humor, Pets, Photography

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35 replies

  1. We have two felines and two bowls of food, one dish of water inside and one dish outside. When Fluffy drinks he seems to drink forever. Tabby likes to take it carefully from the wet paw. In any case two bowls and two cats so no problem. The food dish is a different thing. We have two bowls one on the right, one on the left and… yes the left bowl is always at a low level or empty very quickly. The right bowl stays full so the solution. In the evening before going to bed my last movement is to switch bowls. The next morning we have two bowls half full, Go figure. I don’t, but our felines do. They prefer the left bowl, must be South paws.


    • This seems to be a common phenomenon. So maybe animals are “right side dominant” and like to eat on the left, so they can protect their right flank? This must be some ingrained, instinctive thing. Apparently it’s common in cats and dogs. I’m willing (at this point) to bet it’s be true of other animals too. Of course, what would they do at a watering hole that’s round? I imagine that would be a very threatening situation. And there I was, thinking it was just Bishop being peculiar.


  2. Interesting. Does he only see out of the left eye? Love your photos by the way.


  3. Six cats. Two food bowls. The bowls are identical. The cats ALL show a strong preference for eating out of the bowl on the left. If I switch the bowls, they will eat out of the bowl that is then on the left. They only eat from the right bowl if 1) there’s another cat at the left bowl, and they don’t feel like sharing or waiting, or 2) the left bowl is empty.


  4. Was he trained to heel only to the left? I don’t know why that would make a difference, but he may find the left to be safer for some reason.


  5. For the same reason my cat cannot walk straight through the living room, but has to go under one chair, then cross the room to go behind and around another chair on his way from the bedroom to the front door to go out. lol


    • You think they are superstitious? Like stepping on a crack or something?


      • Well now you’ve got me thinking deep. I wonder if the behavior starts due to some fear. Topaz was a feral cat that I fed for 1.5 year before he trusted me enough to become domesticated, so going under and behind the chairs may have been a way to feel safe when he first came indoors. He knows he’s safe now but it’s become a habit. Just like us humans if we’ve had to survive a non-loving childhood, we might keep our survival patterns even when they are no longer needed. Maybe the lefty water dish was close to the wall, offering safety, or maybe it was away from the wall, offering escape, and it became a habit for Bishop even though he no longer needs the safety or escape. Does seem really silly, though, to not use the 2nd dish when the 1st one is empty!


  6. Interesting. Though haven’t got the foggiest.


  7. Seems quite a character, does Bishop. I have nothing else to say.


  8. Remove one bowl and let them drink from single bowl only for two three days though this would increase your work since you have to fill it more frequently. Hope it should work 🙂 Please share what would you finally do solve the mystery 🙂


  9. No wisdom coming from me on that one. Let me know if you solve the mystery. LOL


  10. I think a third bowl would do his head in. There must be an explanation for it but I’m darned if I know what it is.


  11. Bishop is a camel in disguise.


  12. He is a creature of habit.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Put down a third bowl! 🙂


    • Then I’d have NO floor left. Between all the things that live on the floor because I have nowhere else to put them, and the two giant bowls — and the four dogs who follow us wherever we go, but especially into the kitchen (they live in hope!) — not a chance. Not even as an experiment!


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