Dogs are creatures of habit. If you change anything about their daily schedule, they raise their eyebrows, shake their heads and stand firm until you figure out your mistake.
My dogs have certain treats they get at certain times of the day, and my treat closet had better be well-stocked with all the right stuff. Or Else...
You may or may not know of these dried chicken breast jerky strips they have for dogs. (Made with real chicken!) There used to be a fairly inexpensive brand, available at many stores, and when I first saw them, I knew they would be a hit at my house.
My dogs adore chicken. Whether it's the actual meat, dog food, flavored treats or chews, it doesn't matter. As long as it's chicken, it goes over like ice cream at a kids' birthday party.
For a long time, chicken strips held sway as the number one chew treat, approved by two dogs out of two. After I had my dinner, Pippa and Scout would have their coveted chicken strips while I had a cup of coffee and maybe some dessert.
Then, disaster struck. One day, I went to the store to get my bi-weekly supply, and the shelves were empty. No problem. I still had a couple of bags hoarded up, so I could wait.
Two weeks later - still empty. So I researched the problem and found the entire line of dog treats, including our beloved chicken strips, had been pulled from all shelves across the nation. Somebody in some northern state in the US decided that they had found
minute traces of some chicken antibiotic in these chicken strips, and
the wails of woe from dogs and their owners rivaled a pack of coyotes
on a clear night.
Oh, well, there were other brands I could find on the internet. I tried site after site - Out of stock. Unavailable at this time. What was I going to do?
Eventually, I did find some - at well over twice the price of the ones I had gotten before! I weighed the possibilities. Take out a loan? Sell my truck? Pawn my jewels? What to do?
I tore my hair, wrung my hands and tried in vain not to panic. Finally, the day of doom arrived. We had no more chicken strips.
My heart beating with trepidation, I faced the dogs, smiled a big smile and tried to make a sale. Come on, girls, try this, it's a really nice rawhide thingy.
We will not negotiate!
They stared at me - disgusted and contemptuous. We will not negotiate.
But I can't get the others! I yelled. I reined in my temper, and took a few long, deep breaths. They're dogs, I told myself. Only dogs. No need to get all upset. I tried another sell. Okay, how about this yummy chicken rawhide twist? I stuck the twists in their faces, tempting them.
No luck. They weren't tempted. I could see the stolid indifference in their eyes. We will not negotiate.
I tried a third chew, a fourth, a fifth. Still nothing. No negotiations.
Now, I was really annoyed. "It won't work, you know! I'll just do a treat-closet shutdown and you won't get anything at all!"
They glanced at each other, then at me. Then, I saw it. They blinked. Grabbing a chicken rawhide twist each, they settled into their favorite chewing spots and got those jaws into action.
I heaved a sigh of relief. Peace in the home prevailed.
But those two will never make good politicians.