Until last night, I had not. Because Boss came with a bag of food. And then Chris bought the next bag of food. Next it was my turn. So last night I went to the pet store. My goal was simple – buy dog food. But if you have attempted to buy dog food, this is not a simple task.
Need I say more than – there were three aisles of dog food. THREE AISLES. Is this necessary? Must we have so many choices? They are dogs. Little animals from the wild. They will eat dead animals. They will eat socks. They will eat their own shit. Not only that but they will run outside, sniff down, and harbor the shit of other wild animals (like Canadian geese)……do they really need so many choices of dog food?
Yes. Because even though they descend from the wild they are as picky as hell when it comes to kibbles and bits.
Boss is a fine example. Does not like the kibble. Partially my fault – left the food out at all times. He’s a puppy. He is not yet in tune with his hunger cues. Well, that led to the day long graze. Which by the way leads to a day long shit. So this past week has been boot camp with Boss. Feeding hours are 7 am and 5 pm. You don’t eat in 15 minutes, the food goes away. Kitchen closed.
A fine plan. If only Boss liked his food. Plus I noticed his food was giving him bad breath. And I will not be one of those people where everyone is like – cute dog, but really bad breath. No thanks. So I went to the pet store. Thinking this would be easy – grab a new bag of chow, put the money down.
For crying out loud there is a bag of dog food for every darn breed. And size. And temperament. And, natural brands. Natural food for dogs? Seriously? Please do not tell me there are vegetarian options too.
THEY ARE DOGS!
At first I am lost as to where to begin. There have to be a dozen brands, sizes, flavors and styles. Let’s narrow it down my brands which I know Boss does not like. Ok – no clue what the names are but I know the bags. That eliminates – oh – about ½ of ½ of an aisle. Only 12 more ½ of ½ aisles to explore.
Next I look at flavors. Unfortunately none of the labels were very much help. Plus I really don’t know what Boss likes. I think of how silly it is to shop for dog food. Like I know what the dog wants. Like I know what it would taste like in dog world. Perhaps I should ask the dog. Perhaps there should be free sample day at the pet store. Because come on, pet stores of the world, throw us owners a bone. Help us out. We have no clue. Think about it. Think about your dog. Could you imagine this:
Yes, I’m looking for a bag of food to feed to my small dog.
What are his tastes?
Mostly his diet consists of rawhide, strings and from time to time he enjoys eating his own shit. Do you have something that will go with that?
Aside from that, I have nothing to go on. I just know I put the bowl down and he does not eat. Much. Or eats on the fly. Grabs one kibble and then runs. I assume this is a wild instinct. He is the same way with treats. Grabs them and runs under the couch. He has not yet realized that I have no interest in the dog biscuit and neither does Chris. There is no reason to run and hide.
And I'm totally thrown off by the strings. Should I be feeding him spaghetti? What is it with the strings? Confirmation that Boss has been eating strings came the other day. Boss was getting fussy and scooting his rear along the ground. I told him not on my white carpet, dog. So he did it later at Chris’ grandma’s place. Turns out that he had a string hanging from his pooper. A long blue string. When Chris pulled it out, YELP! So Chris asks where did that string come from and I say oh that was the stringy tail of his new blue dog.
So, a diet of steady strings but no kibble that he likes. I am still scanning the bags. I see something that says Smart Puppy. You’ve got to be kidding me. I examine this smart puppy bag. Will it make my puppy smart? Will he get into Yale? Most importantly, will he stop eating strings?
Oddly enough I like the look and feel of this smart puppy chow bag. It is small for small dogs and it is in flavor chicken or some other meaty animal that a real manly dog would eat. So I decide we will give that bag a try. And just because I am at the pet store I decide to buy Boss a floppy rabbit and a new squeaky monkey.
I have bad news about the old squeaky monkey. He bit it big time. Squeaky monkey has been dismembered by left leg and also destuffed. And desqueaked. The squeaker – gone. The white cotton stuffing – all over my house. The old squeaky monkey – replaced by the new.
Sometimes I look at Boss’ toys and I just laugh. There are people that work in tall buildings wearing 3 piece suits while sitting at catered lunches contemplating things like – should we or should we not put a smiley face on the squeaky carrot dog toy. Let me just put in my vote – you should. Because every time I see the squeaky carrot it makes me laugh. It also makes me laugh that I paid good money for that toy.
To demonstrate how ridiculous these toys are I decided to take a picture of a few favorites. To get the damn carrot to stop laughing and the monkey and bear to sit still was a real chore. But everyone pulled together for the picture. Even my sock – which really didn’t want to be a part of these misfit puppy toys in first place (and for all of you naysayers that think what does her dog have to do with triathlon....it's a cycling sock thank you very much).
Now, look closely and you will notice in the lower left corner that dead kitty is running away. Actually it was attached to a long string that Boss pulled at just at the moment I snapped the picture. It was kind of his way of saying – woman, release my toys. And give me that string.
Anyways, every time I go to the pet store I feel compelled to buy another toy like this. Something small, furry, string and squeaky usually makes the cut. And the toys are much easier to choose than the chow. Because it takes only a few tosses and plays to realize what Boss likes for a toy. Plus if it squeaks, it's in.
Back to the new bag of dog food. This morning was the test. Would he or would he not eat the new puppy chow. 7 am. Put the bowl down. And – SCORE! He is eating the smart puppy chow. He is on his way to becoming the SMARTEST dog in the world.
And this is what every puppy parent wants to hear. He is smart after all. Gifted for sure. Just ask the squeaky carrot. He's known all along. That's why he smiles.