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Friday, February 17, 2017



     Our dog Gidget was thrilled to find a deer antler in the woods, and she brought it home to play with. If the deer had still been attached to it I would have been much less enthusiastic about the idea. We looked it up on the internet and it's okay to give it to your dog as a teething toy, as long as you boil it in water first. My wife added a bay leaf for whatever reason she usually does.

     There is a whole market of barbaric-sounding animal body parts out there, sold as doggie chew toys: cow's hooves, and pig's ears and parts of bulls. The package doesn't say which part of the bull, and I don't ask. You can get "giant turkey feet" for your dog, if your dog is not satisfied with its own feet. The ad boasts that they are "USA giant turkeys," so no American turkey foot harvesting jobs are in jeopardy from this enterprise. You can have them delivered from Amazon, or they can just stroll over.

     We went into a pet store and found all kinds of weird things for your dog, like fish cartilage. What is a fish doing with all that spare cartilage, and I don't even have enough for my knee not to hurt three days after a tennis match? Which I probably lost? There was a bone made from yak's milk. Somebody is out there in Tibet milking a yak in the freezing rain so that your dog can have a yak's milk bone, I hope you're happy. There was also a 12-inch rib that looked fairly disgusting, it didn't say what animal it came from. When Gidget wants to play she pokes you in the leg with her toy. Have you ever been gored in the leg with a deer antler? It's pretty much the same drill if a deer wants to play with you.

     The cat is another teething toy at our house. The dog likes to chew on his ears, and he doesn't seem to mind that much. But it seems to be affecting his hearing, since he ignores even the most basic requests. "Hey, YOU- don't keep knocking that pen off the table! And don't stretch out on the newspaper!" I'm so tired of reading stories in the paper and trying to guess all the words that are in the shape of a cat.

     Is this all a waste of time and money? Yes. The other day I saw that she was chewing on... an expensive dog toy? A carefully selected bone? No, a pushpin from the bulletin board. I took it out of her mouth, and returned it to the bulletin board along with a memorandum reminding everyone in the household that chewing on pushpins can result in personal injury, especially when I whack them on the nose with a newspaper. When I can finally get the cat off it.

     Gidget is just not that discerning when it comes to toys. On our walk we ran into a toad on the lawn that she was extremely interested in starting a relationship with. I knew it wasn't going to come to much because I had read the book, "That Toad is Just Not That Into You." On the way back from our walk she wanted to rekindle the romance with a pine cone, thinking it was the toad. Gidget might not be the brightest dog on the planet, but she and the pine cone seem to have a nice thing going, and I'm not going to stand in the way of the relationship.

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