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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Puppy Love

People are so smitten with their pets these days; they treat them like they were people. You have to know where to draw the line.

Take my dog, Zoe; she’s half chow, half golden retriever. She’s pretty smart, I’ll admit. When she was a puppy, if my wife and I mentioned the word “walk,” she’d go crazy, running around, wagging her tail – Nancy and I hated to let her down, so we began to spell it out. Well, next thing you know, whenever Zoe hears w-a-l-k, she starts jumping around and going crazy about that. So my wife and I had to start switching letters around – a-l-w-k – or throwing in whole new letters – q-z-e-r-t – anytime we wanted to discuss taking a walk. That’s what I’m talking about, you have to be careful with dogs, Nancy and I got off on the wrong foot with Zoe, and she never did learn how to spell.

Anyway, the story I wanted to tell you has to do with Zoe’s skin rash. Nothing serious, just an itchy spot, but a friend of ours said she needed active cultures in her digestive system, like you get with yogurt. Well, we started giving her a bowl of yogurt every evening with her supper, and sure enough, her rash got better. Once, we made the mistake of buying a high-priced brand instead of the generic, and after that, she wouldn’t touch anything if it didn’t come from the top of the shelf. Then we learned she didn’t care for no-fat yogurt, but only low-fat. Then one night, she wouldn’t eat her yogurt at all! We checked the carton, had we gotten the wrong kind? No, it was low-fat, the most expensive yogurt the store had. We even showed Zoe the label, which didn’t do any good, because like I said, she never did learn to read.

Then my youngest daughter, Spencer, got an idea. She got on the floor and dipped Zoe a tablespoon of yogurt. Zoe ate the whole bowl, a spoonful at a time.

That’s what I mean. It’s important with pets to know where to draw the line. Nancy and I will give our dog human food, we’ll buy her the most expensive brand, and make sure she gets the variety she wants. If need be, we will even spoon-feed her. But we will not, under any circumstances, let her sit at the table.

Well. Not yet.

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