By JOEL VERNIER
It was mid-morning, and I was just about to settle into my “Comfy Chair” for a much-deserved nap, and my daughter bounces thru the door for a quick visit with her computer in hand. “Dad, you need to step up your game and feed your dog’s better food. I have been doing some analysis, and I have narrowed down the list of dog food to just a couple of choices.” I asked. “Wait a minute, what is wrong with the food they have been eating for years?” She replied, “Dad, really? It has cornmeal in it and animal by-products.” I love summer corn on the cobb, but I have to admit I do not know what animal by-products are.
I needed a little mental time out. Kind of like the unique words & phrases people use to buy time: “And things of that nature.” “Let me be more specific.” “That is very interesting, give me a moment to process my emotions.” Or even the basic “Ahhh, Ummm, but, and so on.” Verbal crutches that buy us time to respond.
Ok, I think I can respond now after my timeout. “Before I agree to spend more money on dog food, let me share some things I have observed.
In the last couple of months, I have caught my dogs eating garbage after they knocked over the trashcan. On walks, they consume anything that they happen to find along the way; twigs, grasses, crumbs, rabbit or deer pellets, and yes on occasion, even a gift left by another dog. Of course, they smell it first. If it smells horrible and is a dark green, they just love to rub in it and get the scent all over. At the horse barn, they are joyously overwhelmed with the field of Milk bones ® that we call horse manure. With all of that consumption going on, cornmeal just does not sound that bad to me.
“Our dogs are at the perfect weight, they are healthy, happy. Their eyes are clear, coats are shiny, and tails are a wagging. I don’t see any reason to change!”
I was immediately enveloped in a tsunami of Generation X logic. She took a nutrition class in college, so she knew what she is talking about. I was informed that I should not feed my dogs any grain, they are predators, not prey animals. They like meat such as duck, salmon, pheasant, and buffalo with slow-cooked vegetables with added vitamins, natural flavorings, and preservatives. (Wow, I should eat this good!) Their food should have the proper balance of calories, protein, fiber, and fat. You may include Chondroitin and Glucosamine, and natural probiotics. Each dog should have custom food if they are senior, adult, puppy, low active high active or inactive. Is inactive dead? There are supplements for joints, bad breath, smelly coat and natural approaches to anything you can think of.
“Ok Dad, I like this natural product its grain-free. It has slow-cooked vegetables, and the protein is duck and pheasant. And it’s only sixty dollars a bag!” I quickly responded; “Great! We pay you fifty dollars on your birthday, I will stop that, and we can use that money to buy the gourmet dog food, alright?” I then was the recipient of the “look.” You know the look of disbelief, disdain, discouragement, and disgust. She responded; “Dad, you know I love my birthday money just think about changing their food, ok?”
I agreed to think about it and to look at the multipage glossy literature she brought home from the “Happy, Holistic, Gourmet Dog Food Company” that recently opened. Duck & pheasant, no wonder it costs so much, why don’t they have a “Hamburger Helper” ® for dog food. Love my daughter, she’s welcome for a visit anytime!
“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 3/9/2019 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” email@example.com
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