The Biscuit Blues

By Georgie Gurl

Have you ever had that one thing in life that you kind of took for granted, but completely depended on, and then it unexpectedly disappeared? *Poof!*

Well that’s me and the Iams puppy biscuit.

Actually, I didn’t even know what it was called until today. I just know that I’ve looked forward to their savory goodness and crisp crunchiness multiple times a day for as long as I can remember.

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When my humans adopted me, they were sent home with a box of these and explicit instructions to give them to me EVERY FIVE MINUTES, and EVERY TIME I DEMAND IT. You can see on the box it even says it: “0% guilt.” Oh yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Instead, they put the box in a cabinet in the kitchen and seemed to forget about them. But I didn’t. I would go up to the cabinet and tap it with my nose. “Biscuit. Biscuit. Biscuit,” I would try and tell them with each tap. “Biscuit.”

Sometimes they got it: “Oh, look, Georgie must want a biscuit!”

YES, I DO. GIMME!! GIMME!! GIMME!!

Other times, they didn’t: “Here, Georgie. Let’s try a CARROT!”

Hmmm. Orange. Cold. Crunch. Nope. Definitely not an Iams biscuit. No bueno.

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I decided I had to let them know more concretely that the Iams biscuit was special and what I wanted. So I created a little worship dance. Every time they gave me an Iams biscuit, I would take it, run into the living room, spin around, lay the biscuit down, bow down to the Iams BISCUIT GOD, shake my head around till I felt dizzy, and then devour the small edible piece of heaven. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Biscuit!!

The humans called it my “cookie dance.” It was probably more like a case of the biscuit DTs. But whatever you call it, it worked. We were speaking the same language and life was good.

Over several months, I received many biscuits and I performed many worship dances. Then one day, I received some seriously bad news.

“Ooops. Looks like we’re out of the Iams biscuits, Georgie. Guess you’re going to get a carrot.”

Noooooooooooooooo!!!! There is no carrot dance, you stupid human! I will eat it, but you will never see me dance again. Me. Want. Biscuit. Hmph!

Time marched on and the human missed my worship dances. As for me, I missed my biscuits. And finally she decided to get me some more. YAY!

There was a problem though. We roamed the aisles of PetSmart. No biscuits.

We went online to Chewy.com and Walmart and every other site we could think of. But no biscuits.

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And finally, we learned the horrible truth from a thread on the Iams Facebook page. The puppy biscuits weren’t just out of stock. They have been DIS-CON-TINUED.

No more biscuits. Forever.

Rut-roh!

If I could cry, I would have. Instead, I looked up at my human with the saddest puppy eyes ever. “Fix it, please,” I said.

“I can’t fix it, Georgie,” she replied.

“But you’re human. You can do anything,” I said.

“I’m sure it seems that way, Georgie,” she said, “But I can’t. I can’t fix this. You’re going to have to find another kind of snack.”

No. There is no other biscuit!

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“I’m so sorry, Georgie. I know exactly how you feel. Estee Lauder is always discontinuing the makeup I use and it’s a nightmare finding a good substitute,” she said.

“Estee Lauder? I’d like a makeover, and maybe some nail polish!” I thought, but quickly regained my focus.

Biscuit. Me. Want. Biscuit.

Turns out I wasn’t alone in my misery. Some Beagle in Maryland apparently loves them as much as me, and he is in a deep depression now. Two Yorkies in Michigan with sensitive stomachs are out of luck too. It’s the only snack they liked, their human complained on the Iams Facebook page, and they’ve been on them for 11 years. I can only imagine the withdrawals they were going through.

The situation has been so bad, that some humans have been carefully rationing out their last biscuits to their pups. Others have been shelling out a gazillion dollars to buy one of the few remaining boxes of biscuits for sale on eBay – but my human said no to that.

What to do? Well that’s tricky.

The Iams people suggested some substitutes, but we’re not going to bother. They all got lousy reviews from the other biscuit addicts. Not as crunchy. Not as appealing. Not. My. Biscuit.

At this point, my human said, the only answer was to try and bake me some biscuits from scratch using flour and chicken broth.

I said, fine – and while we’re at it, we can whip you up some homemade makeup too.

Note: This column is dedicated to the Iams Puppy Biscuit. RIP, sweet snack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trick or Treat? You Decide.

By Georgie Gurl

There’s a change in the air here in Jurassic Park. It’s not as thick and sticky as it was a week ago, a steady breeze has been helping to keep the mosquito squadron grounded and the pink cotton candy sunsets are happening earlier every night.

But there have also been some other, more unsettling changes in the hood. Odd, menacing creatures have moved into some of our neighbors’ yards and my humans seem oblivious to their presence.

On our walk tonight, for instance, we encountered two homicidal maniacs. One of them, a yellow man with Da Vinci Veneers, no neck and unflattering glasses, was carrying the head of a small orange person he must have decapitated moments before. Ack! And his accomplice, a lumpy white man with a large orange nose and buck teeth, was waving his stick hand at us, trying to lure us into their trap.

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It was a horrid scene, I tell you, and I had to do some fast thinking. At first I growled at them to see if they would stand down — but no such luck. These guys meant business. At that point, I turned around, tucked my tail between my butt cheeks and took off running in the other direction. “Georgie, SLOW DOWN!” the human yelled as I pulled her down the street with all my might. SLOW DOWN? SERIOUSLY? SPEED UP YOU LAZY WOMAN! CAN’T YOU SEE WE ARE ABOUT TO LOSE OUR HEADS?

Fortunately, I got her away from the maniacs, but as we whizzed down the street, I  noted numerous other disturbing items: skeletal remains, rotted pumpkins, spooky gravestones and trees strewn with cobwebs. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO MY TRANQUIL JURASSIC PARK?

Noticing my fright, the human giggled as she always does when she is nervous and told me to “relax” — and that there was a perfectly logical explanation for it all. “Georgie, those are just Halloween decorations. They’re supposed to be scary. It’s all part of the fun,” she said.

Ummmm. Ok, you human weirdo.

At that moment, I made a decision. If scaring the bejesus out of cute little puppies is her idea of “fun,” I am going to give her a run for her money.

So that’s where you come in, my dear faithful readers. My humans don’t know it yet, but I’ve been working on Halloween costumes all day. I just need you to tell me which one you think will frighten them the most.

First off, is Georgie The Alligator. GET IN MY JAWS! I WILL EAT YOU!! BAHAHAHA!

 

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Then, there’s Georgie The Intense Coyote! Hello, my pretty! Bring me your pets! I will eat them as snacks and maybe gnaw off your leg while I am at it! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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And last but not least, Georgie The Creepy Clown. Like my makeup? Well, I ain’t your neighborhood Avon Lady, suckers!! BAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Vote on your favorite costumes now and let’s see who gets the last laugh on Oct. 31.

Trick or Treat! BAHAHAHAHA!

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A Terrier’s Legacy

By Georgie Gurl

Long before there was ever a Georgie Gurl, there was another dog named Eli.

He was a terrier, like me, but his ancestors were from the Scottish Highlands, an entire sea apart from the green countryside of Ireland where my canine forefathers rollicked and roamed.

His fur was as white as snow, and I’m pretty sure he wore a kilt, dined on haggis and played the bagpipes. At least, that’s how I imagine him.

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He led an extraordinary life, this four-legged Scotsman. During his youth, Eli was an avid huntsman and not once, but TWICE, actually caught squirrels. But Eli was so kind, he never hurt his prey. He simply released the chattering rodents and went on his merry way.

 

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An athlete in every sense of the word, he also played soccer and dominated the sport of poolside volleyball, never tiring of bouncing a small, blow-up ball back to his humans with the tip of his wet black nose.

Eli’s life was not without its hardships, however. A torn knee ligament in the early 2000s sidelined his sports ambitions—and his distaste for small children, along with an inability to learn any real tricks, ruined his dream of joining a traveling carnival.

But when one doggy door closes, another one opens up, and Eli soon discovered a penchant for politics and embarked on a storied political career. Amazingly, it didn’t even matter that he couldn’t read or write or understand the issues. He just had a way with people on the campaign trail. He was cute and nosey friendly and made everyone he met feel happy.

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After about five years of serving as the unofficial mayor of an over-priced northern Virginia condominium complex, Eli set his sights on a large community of single-family homes in southwest Florida. He won that mayoral non-election handily too—and in spite of the fact that he attempted to kill the mailman every day.

He just had that “je ne sais quois”—a kind of magic, if you will.

At Christmas time, the neighborhood kids would come to his house and sing him carols. And his humans credit just about every friendship they ever made to the 27-lb ball of scruff and fluff, who only walked one way. Eli’s mantra: “Why go home when it’s so much more interesting to be outside?”

Regrettably, I never met Eli the Scottish mayor. He passed away three years ago today—before I was even a twinkle in my sire’s eye. But the universe works in funny ways and it turns out we are inextricably bound because we rescued the same humans, and guard the same hearts.

Sometimes I’ll do something just like Eli used to do and my humans will get a funny, misty look in their eyes. I’ve even heard them wonder aloud if maybe I’m Eli reincarnated. I don’t have the heart to tell them nope, that’s not it. I’m just a little girl, doing my best to make my big brother proud.

 This column is dedicated to my brother, Eli, who was born on Sept. 28, 1999 and passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Sept. 28, 2014.

 

Not So Fine Art

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By Georgie Gurl

PARIS—Sometimes, when the world goes a little over the top, I have to find my happy place. This week, that place was Paris—or more specifically, The Louvre.

See that stunning piece of artwork? That’s the Mona Lisa—and that’s me, Georgie Gurl, soaking it all in. I’m pretty sure I overheard someone say that the Mona Lisa was painted by the legendary actor Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the best movie ever, Titanic. Isn’t she simply magnifique? That Leo is so amazing. He can act and paint.

What was it, you’re probably wondering, that made a 30-pound Wheaten jump on the first flight to Paris she could find? A very scary place called The Guggenheim.

I’ve never been there. In fact, I haven’t even been to New York yet, although it is on my bucket list. But this week, I heard some of my dog friends fretting over the fact that The Guggenheim was planning to show a controversial video exhibit entitled “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” that features American Pit Bulls running furiously on treadmills with all their might trying to get to each other, but never engaging.

I learned something even more awful: That apparently, some humans use this method of torture to train fight dogs. Ugh.

The title alone stressed me out. I mean, I know how frustrating it is when I can’t touch my friends, give them a wet sloppy kiss, or romp around in the grass. And treadmills really aren’t the best exercise for dogs. We honestly prefer a nice stroll through the neighborhood, a good game of fetch or chasing our friends around a nice, safe, fenced yard.

Anyway, I thought a good long time about the poor dogs who appeared in that video and how awful and frustrated and confused they must have felt. And after that, I decided that I really didn’t like this thing called “Art.” So I focused on my peanut butter-filled Kong, slept a lot and avoided looking at the paintings and photographs hanging on our walls.

My human could tell something was wrong and eventually she hit upon the problem.

“Georgie, you heard about The Guggenheim, didn’t you?”

I nodded and flashed her my big, sad, puppy eyes.

And then she explained to me that art isn’t supposed to be a bad thing, or a cruel thing. She said art comes in many forms—music, painting and sculpture—and that when it’s done right, it can inspire and touch you in ways you never thought imaginable. “Art can make you happy, or sad, and that’s okay,” she said, “but it should never be cruel or exploitative.”

That’s when I whipped out her credit card and booked my flight to Paris. I’d needed to find out more about this “art” thing, and make sure it wasn’t all bad.

My trip’s been delightful. I’ve enjoyed more ham and cheese baguettes than a dog could ever want, I’ve been flirting with poodles all day and I’m planning to pee at the Eiffel Tower later. I’m also going to hit the Musee D’Orsay tomorrow if I have some extra time since I’m really digging this painting thing.

And I heard earlier today that The Guggenheim decided not to show the “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other”—but that they were “dismayed” about having to withhold “works of art.”

I’m hopeful they’ll come to their senses. Maybe they just need a trip to wonderful Paris, a city that appreciates its dogs, and understands the difference between a DiCaprio and piece of garbage.

NOTE: This column is dedicated to my two-legged friend Meredith, who cares about all living things and lends her voice to others who can’t speak up.

The Key To Survival: It Takes Cooperation, Not Competition, To Keep a Community Strong

By Georgie Gurl

I still remember the first time I ever set eyes on our strange, long-legged neighbors. I was just a wee pup then, enjoying the crunch of the warm St. Augustine grass under my paws and carefully selecting the perfect spot to do my business and earn my treat. But as the rising sun transformed the pinkish clouds into fluffy white marshmallows, the two odd creatures swooped in over the field in front of our house, trumpeting their arrival with a haunting, primordial call.

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Their wingspans were as wide as a 747 jet, and as they crept closer, they glared at us sideways through their beady eyes. My heartrate quickened. “We have come to eat you for breakfast,” one of them declared. The other just stood there blinking and occasionally plucking a bug from the ground. Appetizers, I guess.

I tried to warn my human of the threat. “STOP LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE,” I attempted to scream. “HEY LADY! RELEASE ME FROM THIS LEASH! THE BEASTS ARE UPON US!”

But she was clueless. She just giggled and snapped a photo.

As I sized up the situation, I realized our fate was in my hands. In fact, it was at that very moment that the blurry confusion of my early weeks of life came into razor sharp focus. You see, I had always sensed, from the moment I was plucked away from my litter mates, that I was destined for greatness. But now, I understood my mission in life: My neighborhood was the infamous kingdom known as Jurassic Park and my humans had selected me, Georgie Gurl, to protect them from the Pterodactyls.

If you know anything about Wheatens, you can probably guess what happened next. I went into beast mode. (Some breed bragging rights here: In addition to being absolutely gorgeous and brilliant, we’re also known as a “confident, steady and fearless” dogs—and I always do my best to uphold that reputation.) So yeah, I went into beast mode—or, as much beast mode as you can muster when you are tethered to a pink leash—and I stared the pterodactyls down.

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It didn’t take long for them to see that I wasn’t fooling around and they were NO MATCH for 11.5 pounds of razor-teethed Wheaten wrath. My bravery paid off. “You know, Irving, I’m kind of full. I think the bugs will do this morning,” one of them said. “Yeah, let’s go, Myrtle,” the other replied. “I’m not in the mood for Wheaties anyway.”

Life was better after that. Myrtle and Irving stopped threatening to eat us and eventually I came to learn that I was altogether mistaken about their identity. It turns out the couple wasn’t actually a pair of ancient flying reptiles, but rather, just a pair of middle-aged scraggly Sandhill Cranes. And truth be told, now that I look back on the whole situation, Irving might not have actually said that he’d come to “eat me.” He might have said, “we have come to greet you.”

Anyway, despite my initial misgivings, the Sandhills really have turned out to be stellar neighbors. They love all the neighborhood kids, just like I do, and they entertain the curious youngsters by eating breadcrumbs. They also hate drivers who speed and sometimes they’ll just stop and stand in the road when they think people need to slow it down. I even heard Myrtle laughing the other day about how fun it was to make the “that lead-footed a$$#&@* in the BMW” late for work.

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But what really impresses me about Irving and Myrtle and all the other Sandhill Cranes here in Jurassic Park is how they come together and help each other out when they need to.

Normally, the cranes live in pairs, but I read on Google that during migration or during harsh weather, unrelated Sandhill Cranes will even form temporary little families, or “survival groups” to help each other roost and find food. No wonder these birds have been around for at least 2.5 million years. A little cooperation, it seems, can go a long way.

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I noticed that humans can be smart and kind like that too. For instance, when Hurricane Irma recently blew through here, our two-legged neighbors couldn’t have been nicer. A really nice couple from Miami helped us board up all our windows before the storm hit.

We shared our hard-to-find tapcon screws, bottled water and gas cans with other neighbors who needed them. And the nervous lady next door even brought us extra bread she baked. On TV, recently, I’ve seen countless other examples of people, often strangers, pulling together in the wake of other storms like Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean.

It all reminds me of the words of a very wise man named Mister Rogers. He always said, that when things get scary, like in a hurricane, to “look for the helpers,” because the darkest moments often bring out the very best in humanity—and that’s definitely the truth. Cooperation is everywhere. Look for it, and you will see it. Even here in Jurassic Park.