Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dog Bones

Mayhem and I went to the grocery store the other day and one of the things on our list was a package of dog bones. <--That is bones FOR the dog. See right away we get to the part I never thought much about. I've already said how before I had a dog I didn't know they actually, in real life buried bones (and they do!) Now I have to admit that I didn't ever once think about where dogs got the bones that they liked to bury. I knew where rawhide shaped like bones came from (=Petco - although now that I think about it more - I don't know about the 'raw' or what kind of 'hide'!) If I had thought about where the 'real' bones come from, I would have assumed that dogs got them from 'doggie bags' of restaurant food brought to them by loving owners. And I would have been wrong! Dogs who get their bones that way are apparently dead dogs! I had overheard enough to know that dogs could choke on chicken bones - but what about all that other stuff? I mean, why do they call them 'doggie bags' if you're not supposed to feed them to your dog?! The one (and only) time I lovingly shared my left over and very special, imported, ultra yummy Calhoun's ribs with Wasabi - Sweet Hubby FREAKED OUT and lectured me. Cooked bones can splinter and perforate doggie innards. I cried and wouldn't let my dog out of my sight for days! (I'm happy to report that while I'm pretty sure the spicy barbecue sauce caused him a wee bit of digestive distress- there was no evidence of any actual intestinal injury. Pfew.) So - where do dog bones come from? "The butcher," SH said. Of course. That makes sense.

That brings us right back to Mayhem and I looking at every single package in the store that looked like it could possibly contain raw bones suitable for the pup. No joy. Lots of raw meat, lots of steaks with a little bit of bone, but no packages with mostly bone and priced accordingly. So we stood in line for a million years while the three little old ladies in front of us by turns flirted with and harangued the young, Nascar-hat-wearing, sincere-yet-not-so-bright butcher. Really, he's probably more like the butcher's apprentice because he seemed more than a little baffled by his job. "You want me to cut that up?" he kept asking them one after the other AFTER they'd already handed him their packets and spent ten minutes detailing exactly which piece of meat they wanted cut which way. (Mayhem and I learned a LOT about how meat used to be cut and packaged back when these ladies were first young housewives.) I figured when it was finally our turn, we would be the easy customers. All we needed was to have him point us towards the dog bones. And I was right. The kindly butcher's apprentice looked much relieved when I explained that we couldn't find the bones for dogs. He said, "Oh, we just got some in. I'll go look in the back."

Imagine if you will, the look on my face, when he trotted back out, grinning proudly, with an ENORMOUS (and I mean four and a half foot long) raw bone of woolly mammoth in his hands. <--Ok, maybe it wasn't an actual woolly mammoth bone - but I wouldn't bet against it. This sucker was HUGE and the kindly butcher's apprentice stood there looking like Bam Bam. Mayhem's eyes goggled. The butcher's apprentice held this thing out at us - mind you with no wrapping - just offering it to us. Um...? Did he expect me to pluck it from his hand and plunk it into my cart?! Mayhem got the all over giggles. The butcher's apprentice looked at Mayhem and looked at me and then looked at the bone. "Uh...You want me to cut that up?" I thought Mayhem was going to pee his pants he was laughing so hard. "Yes please," I said. "My dog is a terrier. I think that might be a bit much for him as is." "Ok, be back in a second." A short while later he returned with a shrink wrapped, styrofoam package containing exactly one teeny, tiny little round bone. The three of us bent over to look at the package and then stared back up at each other. "Um, is that all there is? Could I, perhaps, buy several pieces of that giant bone you just cut up?" "Oh. Yeah. Sure. That would be ok." After just a few more such exchanges, Mayhem and I managed to be able to cross dog bones off the list. Mayhem giggled off and on for about an hour over the whole thing and Wasabi was certainly appreciative enough of his treat to justify any hassle - but I keep wondering to myself "Is it this way for all new dog owners?"

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