Monday, January 24, 2011

Please, Groundhog, Please!

Next week is Groundhog Day.  According to legend, if the groundhog (in this case, Punxsutawney Phil) exits his burrow and sees his shadow, he will immediately retreat back into his den, thus predicting another six weeks of winter.  Living in Central Florida, I for one am hoping that the rodent sees his shadow.  The longer the weather stays cool, the better.

That being said, one has to wonder if P. Phil is actually retreating because he sees his shadow.  Think about it.  I know if I walked out my front door wearing nothing but my natural fur and saw a large crowd of strange people staring at me, many with cameras pointed in my direction, I’m pretty sure that I would immediately turn around, rush back inside and slam the door.

One last thing.  There is no need to sit and wait for the groundhog’s prediction.  I can tell you precisely when winter will end.  This year winter will be over on March 20th, regardless of whether or not the groundhog sees its shadow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Set A Place At The Table For Rover. The Dog Is Joining Us For Dinner.

The other day I saw a commercial for FreshPet Select Dog Food.  In this commercial your average mother grabs a large bag labeled “Dinner” from a cabinet and pours the contents into bowls that are sitting on a table in front of her children.  The voice over claims “You wouldn’t serve your family dry food from a bag.”  (Actually, in a way I do.  It’s called breakfast cereal.)  Cutting to a shot of a dog, the voice over continues, “So why feed it to your dog?”  From there the spot lets the viewer know about its brand of refrigerated dog food.  As the pet owner slices though a loaf of something that looks akin to liverwurst and serves her pet a bowl of cubed meat with peas and diced carrots, the voice over explains that the food consists of meat, vegetables and brown rice.  Finally, the commercial ends with their slogan, “Natural.  Nutritious.  Refrigerated.”

Now, I found the commercial interesting, informative and at times humorous.  However, I had one major problem with it . . . it was food for dogs!

The sense I get from the commercial is that feeding your pet FreshPet Select is closer to your dog’s natural diet than typical dog foods are.  Not currently being a dog owner, nor being to particular about what I fed my dog when I did own one, I can’t say that have a lot of expert knowledge into the real, un-advertiser tainted facts about a dog’s diet.  But as a layman it doesn’t seem to me that FreshPet is much closer to dog’s intended diet.  Prior to domestication wild dogs were pretty much carnivores, meat eaters.  Yes, one of the ingredients in FreshPet is meat, but the comparison stops there.

Let's start with the vegetables.  I can't say that I've run across many vegetable gardens tended by dogs.  When a wolf takes down an elk, I can't picture him ripping it open, then sprinkling peas and cubed carrots over the innards before digging in.  Then there is the rice.  Where would most dogs even find a rice paddy in the wild?  I guess Shar Peis, Shih Tzus, Chows and other Chinese dogs may have had the opportunity, but then there is the whole "chop sticks with paws" debacle, and I don't even want to go there.

The biggest problem I have with the whole FreshPet = Natural Diet idea, however, is this . . . where would wild dogs plug in their refrigerators?  And just suppose they do happen to have a spare outlet in their den.  Electricity costs money.  How would these canines earn enough to pay?  McGruff seems to have made it big on the police force, but I don't think your average K-9 is raking in the big bucks.  I know it's a dog-eat-dog world, but I haven't noticed a large number of floppy eared, tail wagging corporate executives.  Do greyhounds get to bring home a cut of the dog track's nightly take?  Or maybe dogs really do play poker?  Actually, here's one dog that I think has it made.

What people choose to feed their pets is entirely up to them.  I just find the whole comparison to humans a bit ridiculous.  We wouldn't want to eat their food, so that naturally means dog's were meant to eat something different, in particular, our food.  Let's flip that around.  If dog's fed us and we didn't like what they gave us, would that naturally mean that we would prefer a freshly killed deer?  I don't think so?  (Did I lose some of you there?)  Still, some people think pets should be treated as much like humans as possible.  If you are one of those, your pet has a message for you.

He would like a turn on the Xbox.
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