"Where The Red Fern Grows" Flea Collars? "The Yearling" deer minerals? What am I talking about? All right. I just got back from Kroger (grocery store chain) a little while ago, and the aisles and end-caps and free-standing displays were overflowing with huge, bright-yellow bags of--I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP--"Disney's Old Yeller Dog Food." I kid. you. not. I saw one woman with a hundred pounds of it in her cart, and several other people buying it. And then I saw the price. $9.99 for the 50-lb. bag. Criminy.
Do you know what's in dog food that can be sold for 20 cents a pound, and still be profitable? Well, I checked the ingredients, and I can summarize for you. Mainly corn, something dogs don't really digest that well in the first place. And then a bunch of stuff swept up off the grain-mill floor after the edible grain has been processed, and the really gross stuff scraped up from the meat processing plant that couldn't possibly be sold any other way. Throw in some red dye and some carcinogenic BHT (also used as a rubber stabilizer, I think--or is that ethoxyquin?) as a preservative, and you've got yourself a heck of a dog food. And OH, the resulting crap you will enjoy, both in volume AND in texture, not to mention aroma! Because that stuff is coming out of the dog pretty much the way it went in, and pretty close to the same weight out as in, I'd imagine. Blecch. Raw diet, peoples. Or at least a quality processed food. If its best feature is that it can feed your dog for a nickel a day, trust me--keep shopping.
And besides, if I'm gonna buy a dog food (presuming it's NOT made of garbage) marketed on the image of a rabid movie-dog, I want it to be CUJO brand dog food.In the rabid movie-dog department, Cujo, in my opinion, has it all over Old Yeller. While Old Yeller was originally a thieving, egg-sucking cur who got into constant trouble and finally came around and protected his family and wound up paying with his life, blah, blah, blah...Cujo was a good dog his whole life; a boy's faithful pet. It was no fault of his own that, while minding his doggy business, he got bitten by a rabid bat and went all, well...Cujo. And since we had Stephen King writing segments in dog-perspective, we know that he felt confused and bad about what was happening to him. I tell you, people--Cujo is not the villain he's been made out to be, but a victim! A tragic figure! I want CUJO brand dog food!!
In other dog-related news, you can go to the website of the Westminster Kennel Club and view streaming video of not only the "big" winners from the Groups and Best In Show (gotta love that "Rufus"), but the breed judging from every single breed. Click here for the videos of the breeds in the Working, Terrier, Non-Sporting, and Toy groups, and here for the videos of the breeds in the Sporting, Hound, and Herding groups. The breeds are listed, in case you're not sure what group the breed you want to see is in (or ask me; I'll tell you!).
Also, this site has several candid shots from Westminster that are just wonderful. Browse through them, and then tell me that a show dog's life is anything but fun. These pooches are having a great time! And naturally, I'm attaching the picture, an AP photo, of the miniature poodle Best of Breed winner, "Chanel," kicking back and waiting for Group judging to start, with her handler, Leslie Simis. Chanel was also the variety winner of our national breed specialty in 2005. She's a pip.
Finally, a sad note--Vivi, the outstanding champion whippet who was leaving New York with a First Award of Merit to her credit when her crate was dropped and broke open in the Delta terminal, still has not been found. If you live anywhere within a few miles of JFK airport, keep your eyes peeled for Vivi. When last seen, she was wearing a black wool coat, and I hope to goodness she still has it on, and is found alive and well soon. Her owners have vowed not to leave New York without her. She was last spotted near the marshes in Jamaica, Queens, and this is what she looks like.