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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

January 16, 2012

Care and Feeding…

By Elizabeth Creith


There's a lot of food in a pet store. Dog food? Which dog food? The one for senior chihuahuas or the one for chihuahua puppies? Or beagle puppies, or German shepherds or border collies or St. Bernards? Or maybe overweight dogs or really active ones? And would that be the small, one-teeny-puppy size or the super-humongous pack-of-wolfhounds size?

I'm exaggerating a little bit here, although there is one brand that makes food it says is scientifically developed for specific breeds. The first time I saw a bag of lab chow I thought it meant Labrador retriever chow, not laboratory rat chow. I don't think you can fault me for that.

Rabbit pellets, ferret pellets, parrot pellets, finch seed, canary seed, budgie seed; food for hamsters and gerbils and guinea pigs and mini-pigs. We've got it all, and if we don't have it, we can get it. One supplier's catalogue lists chow for everything from elk to zebras, and if I ever fear that the moose in the bush that surrounds my house are going hungry, I know just where to get a bag of moose chow, oh, yes, I do.

There's only one chow I'd like to get that isn't available anywhere and that's pet store owner chow.

Pet store owner chow
On days when I'm working, it's not a problem. I make sandwiches. I keep ham and cheese and bread and all the condiments in the store fridge, and then when lunch time rolls around I make up sandwiches and I say, "Here's your sandwich, David," and he says, "Thanks". Later—sometimes days later—I get the plate back.

Usually it's empty, but sometimes there's mummified sandwich stuck to it, because David is easily distracted and forgets where he puts his a) plate b) teacup or c) head.

On days when I'm not working, and there are three in a row every week, there is still sandwich stuff in the fridge. Does David make himself a sandwich? Oh, please! No, I come back in after three days and find the sandwich stuff has turned into science experiments and is trying to find something to eat for itself. The ham is trying to push the meat drawer open to escape, and the cheese is kicking it because it's too slow. The bread is festering quietly in the back of the fridge. Don't ask about the mayonnaise. I used to find bags from the greaseburger emporium next door in the garbage; now I think David hides them. But he's not fooling me.

"It takes too long to make a sandwich!" he protests.

This is a man who can, in minutes, disassemble and reassemble machines with small fiddly bits in them and make them run, but clearly the complicated finger motions and fine motor control involved in making a sandwich is beyond him.

I'm pretty sure, however, that he could manage to toss pellets of pet-store-owner chow into his mouth. And it's hard to mislay a 50-pound bag. I could just open it and leave it in the staff room, or, heck, even put it in a bin next to the bulk seed. That would solve the missing-plate and no-time-to-make-a-sandwich problem.

It'd be a great marketing opportunity, too: pet-store owner chow, mechanic chow, lawyer chow—all the different sizes—and some for overweight or overactive ones. The possibilities are endless. Why isn't Purina onto this, I'd like to know?

In the meantime, until they invent it, pass me my whip and chair. I have to go let the ham and cheese out of the fridge.

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