Thursday, February 16, 2006

What's Next? A Dog Day

"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.


  1. old yeller dog food. dude. i am speechless.

  2. HAHAHA the idea of Cujo food CRACKS me up!

    That is very sad about Vivi. I hope they find her.

  3. I've been following that whippit story- that's unbelievable!

  4. I meant "whippet" - I guess I had Devo on my mind.

  5. I am going to agree with the Cujo brand dog food. If you are going for the rabid dog go for the gold. Cujo. LOL. Thank god I didn't have coffee in my mouth it would have been all over the computer screnn.

  6. Disclaimer here: I don't know that the Old Yeller food that you saw was the same Old Yeller that I used to buy back in the seventies, when I had a boarding kennel, but it sure did bring back memories.

    One of the toughest parts of boarding is getting dogs to eat, especially house dogs that can be intimidated by the noise and presence of lots of strange dogs, not to mention the total lack of table scraps that are often part of the life of a pampered pet.

    Old Yeller dog food was the greatest solution to the problem. It came in largeish cubes, very hard, but they had a sort of sweet, minty smell to them, and the dogs loved it. They ate it like candy, and clients were very pleased at pick-up time to find that their dogs were slick and happy, having, obviously, not missed a meal.

    Clean up was a bit different with Old Yeller, though, as the stools would stick like glue to the concrete runs, and the concrete had to be scrubbed to get the last bits of dirt up. But it wasn't expensive, and the dogs loved it, so I fed it for years.

    Well, until my supplier stopped carrying it. Dear Floyd told me the secret ingredient of Old Yeller: Twinkies. It seemed that the dog food plant was where old Hostess products went after they were past their sell-by date, and were dumped (packaging and all) into huge vats for reprocessing into the tasty little cubes we were feeding. No wonder the dogs loved the stuff--it was the ultimate people/junk food diet. That also explained the sticky runs--sugar in, sugar out.

    It wasn't the lack of proper nutrition that stopped Floyd from selling Old Yeller. It was the fact that the packaging was being processed into the food.

    I'd love to know if this is the same stuff. I always wondered if, given that we are what we eat, dogs on a steady diet of that stuff might not preserve our pets forever. What better for that than plastic and Twinkies? Of couse that might mean dying early, but decomposing slowly.

    That's all in fun, folks. I am convinced that the best diet for dogs is meat, not grain, and most certainly not Twinkies. That just ain't right for any living thing.

  7. Uh, yuck. No way in hades would my little Rat Dog eat Old Yeller dog food. When I first got her, few pet food manufacturers were making dry food with "little" bites." We went through numerous buying, her boycotting then hauling the bag to the humane society...before we finally found something her little mouth could chew.

    Cujo Dog Food. Hee.

  8. Hi there. I was watching the Dog show and my friend PG was making fun of me and when the Whippet came on, he started to sing "whippit good" and we were laughing.... I was so sad when I read about the missing dog a couple of days ago. I love animals and I feel terrible for his owners. And I see you raise poodles. I volunteer at a dog shelter and we recently confiscated 12 miniature poodles from an alcoholic poodle breeder. They were living in filth, in an Illinois winter, with no shelter or dog houses, and their fur was matted and frozen with mud and feces. Some of them had broken legs and jaws from where he had kicked them or picked them up and tossed them by the legs. I am not a "poodle fan" per say, I have always been a hound person, but it broke my heart to see those dogs. They were so scared of people it was so hard to clean their kennels at the shelter.

    It's a shame what kind of people there are out there.

  9. And soylent green is people! People!

    OH SHIT.

    You are not going to believe this..

    Word verification: cujofug


  10. that last comment killed me.


    the only courthouse picket i managed to get my highly liberal ass to was when a guy was going to court for, uh, uh, dog abuse. it was all i could do to restrain myself from beating his ass.


    anyway. i don't trust anything disney PERIOD and i've convinced myself that a nice nice person who was lonely found vivi and is watching tv with her on their lap and they're eating filet mignon.

    crap. i won't be sleeping this week, either....

  11. Sheryl--yes, she is chipped. The day is coming when those things will be used like "Pet Lojacks," but it isn't here yet. They already have one developed that they're trying to get people to put into their children. Sounds sensible, but creeps me out in an Orwellian way.

    Sue, how have I not heard this Twinkie story before? Unreal.

    dazed, rescue work can break your heart over and over, can't it? And a neglected poodle is just so sad, because of the grooming factor. That's the price you pay for the lack of shedding; a coat that grows nonstop from everywhere. I've clipped down rescue dogs with a 40 blade and found weeping sores underneath, and all kinds of other wonderful things. Ugh.

    Mr. Fab--that is too rich. And I had the same initial thought about the dog food at first: "Soylent Yellow."

    nita, we get networks from that area on our satellite, and unless they live under a rock, there's no way anyone around JFK doesn't know about Vivi, and that her owners have said, when asked about a reward for her return, "Just bring us the dog. You can have ANYTHING." These are people who love their dogs so much.

    Some good has come of it, in that I (and many others) have learned some interesting safeguards for securing a Vari-Kennel for air travel.

  12. I thought I was the only dog showing blogger out there. Though I have Clumbers, I do love me some poodles.