Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Suburbanite Version of Crack

As a stuffy, uptight person (and responsible grown-up) I can safely say that I don't consume drugs-except for the fun suburbanite version. No, I'm not talking about the ever so prevalent Ambien and Xanax (my dog needs the Xanax more than I do)-I'm talking about the siren song of overpriced pet products.

I tend to hit Petco and our local pet boutique like most people hit the grocery store. Apparently I eat less than other people, but my dog has more junk. Tuesday I stopped off at Petco to stock up on a few more cheap rawhides on the after Christmas sale. While I was perusing the options I came to the brilliant conclusion that I should do my Christmas shopping for next year and save some money! I danced around the clearance section delighted with the prospect of saving some cash. $150.00 later I was a lot less smug and the sizable cargo area of my SUV was full. Since I was at Petco I did earn 5% back and combined with my other ridiculous purchases of late I had 2 five dollar off coupons today! 

Last night was our first Canine Good Citizen class (the first step in earning my dog her therapy dog certification)-this marks the third obedience class we've taken (which means we've spent over $300.00 to train our dog). The problem isn't that my dog is stupid or that we don't put in the work-I work with her on her skills daily and she's smart as a whip (which is such a stupid expression). In fact she's often too smart for her own good. She knows EXACTLY what she is supposed to be doing-she just doesn't feel like doing it. When she's on her game she is the perfect dog. Trainer #1 (who honestly wasn't very good at his job-just goes to show that you shouldn't pick the dog training place that advertises on the gas station billboard) was convinced that there was some food product that would distract my dog from pulling on her leash and attacking every small, furry animal in a 20 block radius of our walking route.

We tried every high value treat in the book and nothing could beat the feeling you get from chasing a squirrel at 60 miles an hour down the road (bonus points are awarded if your mama is bouncing along the other end of the leash like a rubber ball shouting!). Last summer I was trapped in an orthopedic boot when the dog decided to run away from home. I was wearing a bathrobe and walking with a particularly snazzy cane (it glowed in the dark!)  I let her out in the unfenced portion of the yard for just a few minutes and she of course took off after a rabbit. She careened across the street and cornered the rabbit in the neighbor's flowerbed (which has more odd concrete lawn statues than flowers) and proceeded to knock over several of their decorations and bark her furry little head off (she doesn't want to actually eat the bunny-she just wants to be its friend-and chase it). I came running after her waving my cane with one hand and a handful of tasty roast beef in my other-she ignored me as I limped after her and continued to bark at the bunny. At this point the neighbors came outside-I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we had lived in our house for a year and half at this point and never actually spoken to our neighbors (What? I'm just not very social) so this was our first introduction. The roast beef didn't work to lure her from under the bushes while trying to make social chit chat (more like what the heck are you doing chit chat) so I resorted to physically pulling her out and carrying all 60 pounds of her back across the street. Once we got inside she morphed right back into her alter ego (Perfect Dog) and gobbled up the roast beef.

In preparation for class last night I has purchased a bag of expensive fancy wheat and corn free treats that smelled like a rotting deer carcass. After the intro and general housekeeping stuff (which I missed half of because I was busy trying to shush my dog, keep her in a sitting position, keep her from attempting to befriend the other dogs and shoot DH dirty looks for not helping all at one time) it was time for a demonstration of our leash skills. DH took the reins, as they were, for this one (since I prefer to experience my humiliation from the safety of my metal folding chair). As they demonstrated Massey demonstrated her complete lack of willingness to NOT choke herself in a quest to smell the other dogs until the trainer handed DH a handful of doggy crack (aka fancy treats). One sniff of those treats and she morphed right back into Perfect Dog. For the rest of class she turned up her snout at my treats and behaved perfectly for the fancy treats. We asked what brand they were and I was tasked with going to the store today to purchase them. We (meaning I) also decided we needed a fancy treat pouch so we could match all the other people in our class. DH didn't understand why we couldn't just use a cheap fanny pack, but a. I'm not sure that they still make fanny packs and b. I must have the fancy matching one so I fit in and make friends! 

Off I went to Petco, which was blissfully empty and quickly found the doggy crack and treat pouch. I should have been in and out in less than 10 minutes and my total should have been $40.00 (ridiculous for 2 items, but that's what happens when you adopt a dog). An hour (and $100.00) later I wandered out in a daze and filled up the cargo area again with toys, treats and a fun calendar for me (50% off!). That's when I realized that I spend more on my dog than I do on myself and she will be munching on $20.00 a tube dog food while I suck down Campbell's soup straight from the can. I think I can safely say that dog products are my crack-and oddly enough I'm okay with that

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