Saturday 03 Dec 2016

On the Shelf
Jennifer Flaten

As I opened up the dog’s treat container to get a treat to bribe her with, I noticed the treat container was running low. This isn’t good. The only way I can get her to release an object from her slobbery jaws is to offer a treat.

No, that’s not true, I could try to pry it from her jaws without the aid of a treat but since I enjoy the use of all my fingers, I won’t be doing that.

After swapping a leathery piece of “meat” for my good leather pump, I made a note on the shopping list to replenish our treat supply. It can never run out, there is no way I am sacrificing a good pair of shoes to the dog simply because I ran out of Scooby snacks.

On my next shopping trip, I journeyed down the dog snack aisle. Yes, dog snacks have their own separate aisle. If you haven’t ventured down this aisle lately, let me enlighten you.

At one time there used to be just one kind of dog snack, now there are natural snacks, gourmet snacks, snacks for fresh breath, and vegan snacks. Yes, I bet those tasty vegetable snacks are real popular carnivorous dogs.

Only slightly swayed by all the shiny packaging that promised to make my dog the happiest, healthiest dog-with the most fantastic breath- if I bought them, I managed to find my regular brand. 

It was only when I got home and opened the package that I discovered my mistake. As I shook the cookies out of the box into her treat jar, what rained out wasn’t her standard “snap” it was a giant 3-inch-by-3-inch cookie.

I double-checked the box. Yep, it was our usual brand of snack but instead of buying our usual variety of snacks, I’d inadvertently grabbed box of new “bite size treats.”

I question the “Bite Size” label. Perhaps, if I had a Great Dane, St. Bernard or prehistoric wolf these cookies would require a mere bite on the dog’s part, but I don’t have a big dog I have a medium dog. Although, what she lacks in size she makes up for in enthusiasm. Still, these treats were too big for her.

This isn’t the first time I’ve brought home the wrong item. It isn’t because I am not paying attention. Okay, sometimes I am not paying attention. Especially, if I have a long list, somewhere around item 25 I black out and don’t wake up until I am in the checkout line and missing half my items. Then I send the kids running around the store on a scavenger hunt to get my missing items.

Other times, I get the wrong stuff because I assume that items shelve together. For example, if I spot the green peas and need/want two cans of green peas, it would be logical to assume that if I grab two cans that are side by side that I will get two cans of green peas. Wrong.

When I get home I find out that one can was indeed green peas, but the other can lurking behind/next to the first can of peas wasn’t green peas at all it was canned octopus.

Also, I tend to grab items based on what the brand looks like, which means in cases, such as the dog cookies, where they’ve changed the product or rolled out a new product I don’t notice in the store. This has led to some interesting substitutions when I am making dinner.

You would think that I would learn to read the boxes more carefully. No. Now, will anyone have seconds on creamed eel?

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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