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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaping Lizards and Fetid Frogs: Confessions of a Four-Legged Garbage Disposal

By Georgie Gurl

So I’m just going to throw this out there. I’m a girl who likes to eat. A lot. And pretty much, anything.

Dry kibble? Delish!

Big bugs? The crunchier the better!

Sand? Sure! Why not?

Used, snotty tissues? But of course!

You could say I’m pretty much the four-legged fuzzy equivalent of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers. His motto is my motto: “GET IN MY BELLY!”

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Oh, I see the disdain in my humans’ eyes when I’m nibbling on a beetle or snacking on moths. “Georgie, NOOOOOOOOOO!” they scream as they stick their giant, salty fingers into my mouth and pull the yummies out. So rude.

And let’s be honest. I could bite those fingers right off if I wanted to. They know this too. But, good-natured Wheatie that I am, I play along with their game and use my “soft mouth” and give up my treasures. They can have the moth. They can take the beetle. Because you know what? For every one June bug they steal, there are 10 they never know about that I will chew slowly, savoring every last ounce of exquisite bug flavor.

Tee hee.

But even I have to admit it all spiraled out of control a few weeks back, when on a whim, I graduated to eating amphibians.

I know what you’re thinking. How could you, Georgie? Blech. That’s disgusting! But you have to put yourself in my puppy paws for a second. I have this primal urge, you see, to hunt and devour small prey and these critters are just so enticing—much more fun to hunt and much bigger and meatier than the bugs. Mmmmmm. I just had to know what one tasted like.

The human didn’t even realize it, at first, when I casually picked up a putrefied frog on our walk a couple weeks back. It didn’t even resemble a frog, in fact. It was old and weathered, and looked more like a stick and I very nearly got away with it. But I blew it. I got a little too overzealous about my discovery and that tipped her off.

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“What have you got there, Georgie? Is that mulch?” she inquired.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” I replied with a coy smile as I gnawed on my treasure. She didn’t believe me. In a split second, she was prying my clenched jaws open and fishing around inside my mouth for whatever I was hiding. Of course, I let her have it, and she tossed my prized frog jerky into the storm drain and shrieked “FROG!”

It was a damn shame.

I learned from that experience and I was more careful the next time. I selected my next victim, a small, brown reptile, during a solitary trek into the yard to pee and enjoyed the delicacy in private. No one, I decided, would ever need to know about the untimely demise of Mr. Lizard.

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But as it turns out, even the best laid plans of mice and men, and even brilliant Wheatens, often go awry—and my lizard dinner came back to haunt me.

At some point that night, the satisfaction in my belly turned to a rumble. Gurgle. Gurgle. Gurgle. Oh my god, let me out of this crate!

Needless to say, there was little to no sleep for me or my people for the next several nights. My belly in utter turmoil, I slept fitfully near the back door. My kind and caring humans took turns tossing and turning on the couch as they assisted me with my hourly trips outside.

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I’m almost ashamed to admit that it took a $100 vet visit, a week of antibiotics and a week of chicken and rice to cure me of this bad case of the lizards—but I was relieved that the humans never discovered the cause. That is, until the lizard evidence showed up in one of my deposits. The human’s head almost exploded. “What the heck did you eat, Georgie? IS THAT A LIZARD HEAD?”

I wish I could say that the episode has cured me of my strange addiction—that I’d never so much as lick my lips at a reptile again. But the truth is, just two nights ago, on a nightly stroll, I did it again. I licked a giant, ugly toad. And not just any toad, either. This fat, warty beast was the infamous Bufo toad, which when aggravated by a predator, can shoot a nasty toxin out from behind its ears that will send a dog into a frothy fit and fatal seizures.

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Fortunately, my devoted human (and sometimes enabler) screamed like a banshee and rushed me inside and rinsed my mouth out with water. “Georgie! OH MY GAWD! That toad is poisonous! You can die from licking it!” she shrieked.

I got lucky, though.

Such is the life here in Jurassic Park, where even seemingly succulent snacks can lead to sudden death and Fat Bastard puppies have to work their way through 12-step recovery programs. After my rock bottom moment with the Bufo and battling the lizard flu, I have to admit it’s true what they say—that you’re only as sick as your secrets.

The Top Five Most Amazing, Remarkable, Greatest Things in the World

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By George Gurl

JURASSIC PARK—Truth is, I wasn’t feeling tremendously eloquent today. Maybe it’s because summer has been hanging on too long, and I’m over the sticky Florida heat. Maybe it’s because it’s been a long week and I’m TGIF-ing. I mean, who can focus after 3 o’clock on a Friday? Maybe my paws are just too tired to type. I dunno. Whatever it is, I decided to take the easy route and throw together my very own Top Something Or Other List. So here it is, folks: the top five, most AMAZING, REMARKABLE, GREATEST things in the world.

5. Shoes

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Oh shoes. How I love thee. So stinky and soft and utterly chewable. My humans discourage the chewing and people-pleaser that I am, I don’t want to disappoint them, so I just gather them up and innocently lie next to them. “Look at Georgie,” they say. “She just loves her shoes.” And I do, but sometimes, when they’re not looking, I nibble a little.

4. Swimming

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Y’all probably will think I’m spoiled when I share this bit of info: I have my own swimming pool. It’s big and blue and there’s a terrified octopus that lives in the bottom, who I WILL catch someday. Remember how I mentioned that it’s grotesquely hot here in Florida? Well, it’s not half as bad when you can romp around in a pool.

3. Water Bottles

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My humans will say, “Oh, look at that Georgie. So good about her recycling.” But the truth is, water bottles are just amazing, crunchy, crackly fun—and they’re everywhere. I can’t explain that feeling when I’m just strolling down the sidewalk and BAM… there it is.. another crinkly, Zephyrhills spring water bottle that fits *just* right between my powerful canine jaws.

2. Lamb Chop

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Wow. We’re getting near the end of the list. So that’s me and my girl, Lamb Chop, on the right. I think the human equivalent is what you would call a “bestie.” Only since Lamb Chop and I can’t text, we look out the window and snuggle and just generally find comfort in each other’s presence. Sometimes, if I’ve had a particularly taxing day, I’ll suck on her ear quietly while my humans watch TV. She never complains — and I carry her with me everywhere. She even went to my hysterectomy last month.

Everyone needs a Lamb Chop.

1. A Warm Lap

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And finally, we find ourselves here at number one, the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the most wonderful thing of all: the human lap. I pride myself on being a pretty independent dog. I’m not big into being carried around, I sleep comfortably in my own crate and I only tolerate the leash because I’ve been trained to. But even the toughest broads need some nurturing sometimes, and I can verify 100% that there’s nothing like a human lap. I’ll let you in on a little secret too. Recently, I overheard one of my humans say I’m getting too big to be a lapdog and that made me giggle a little. Silly humans. There’s just some things you never outgrow.

Growing Pains

IMG_7998 (1)Like most dogs, I like routine — and my daily routine goes something like this: Get up and get a long tummy rub from my human while I stretch and yawn. Walk around the hood and check out all the fantastic smells. Get a “Good Girl” cookie when I return home and do my little cookie dance, because nothing tastes better than the first treat of the day. Then, I jump up on my leather chair and keep watch on the postal carriers, sandhill cranes and mommies walking their kids while my human types away at her keyboard and sips her coffee.

It’s nothing spectacular, my morning routine, but it’s MY routine and it sort of keeps me grounded.

Only this morning, it didn’t quite go like that. I mean, I got my tummy rub and walk and stuff — and the cookie was lovely, as always. But when I jumped up into my viewing station, my usual perfect landing turned into a sloppy tumble off the edge and I realized I was stuck. Ack!

I hoped my human wouldn’t notice the embarrassing predicament, so I stood very still and rested my  head on the soft leather cushion. I’ve heard that if you stand very still, sometimes, you can actually disappear. Poof! Like David Blaine. But of course, she noticed, and giggled and boosted my rear back into my seat. I wasn’t sure what she thought was so funny about it. It wasn’t funny to me: A shrinking seat. A tumble. A ruined morning.

Anyway, I must have looked pathetic, because then she patted my head and told me something absolutely amazing. “Georgie, it’s okay. Your seat didn’t shrink. You’re growing, sweet girl.”

Huh? Growing? Me? Really?

I honestly hadn’t even considered the possibility — but then I thought about it. During our car ride yesterday, the view was better than ever before. Normally, I just see the treetops whizzing by in a dizzying blur, but yesterday I saw other cars and buildings! And then there was that wrestling session with my buddy, Ivy, night before last. I didn’t have to stand on my tip-toes to get a good grip on her. We were practically eye-to-eye. And there was also that fine moment last night, when I surprised everyone and leapt like a leopard right into the giant human bed. Wow! This growing thing might not be so bad after all.

After the revelation, my human and I headed out into the yard for a quick romp and enjoyed the warm Florida sunshine on my face. And when we headed back in, I leapt more carefully into my viewing station and didn’t slide off this time. Not every tumble, I realized, is a disaster. Sometimes, it just means you’re growing.