I am looking at a box of “premium dog treats” that my sister gave Rugby, my Jack Russell Terrier. (All right, she gave the stuff to me to give to Rugby.) The box says that they are “ridiculously delicious.” I have just offered him one of the “natural wellness nuggets” because we are temporarily out of regular dog biscuits and he is clamoring for his afternoon snack, driving me crazy in the process. You don’t want to be in the room when a Jack Russell clamors.
He refuses to touch it. In the past, he has spat them out; occasionally he will throw them around the house like an Olympic discus thrower would do if he had no arms and could only use his mouth. Clearly, Rugby doesn’t believe the damn things are edible.
The other day, my sister, a relatively new dog owner, confessed that her Havanese puppy won’t eat them either, and that dog will eat anything, and I do mean anything. This means, I think it is fair to say, that the “State of Mind Natural Wellness Nuggets” taste worse that the worst of those anythings she will eat, and it shouldn’t require too much imagination, Dog Lovers, to guess what that might be.
So how dare the company that makes this crap declare it “premium” and charge $11.99 for a box of dog treats that has less than half the contents of a box of the standard dog biscuits that dogs will actually eat? This is the perfect scam. Since “ridiculously delicious” can only be confirmed by a dog, since the stuff is allegedly dog food, the company makes a false claim that cannot be challenged or confirmed. How would any human being know how objectively delicious a dog treat is to a dog? The box lies, the dog owner takes the claim at face value, and the dog gets fed something that tastes worse than, well, you know.
Is there any defense for this despicable conduct—lying to dogs through their caretakers? Let’s see…perhaps “ridiculously delicious” is truthful, because it means “not delicious unless your definition of delicious is ridiculous.” No, that’s a stretch. Perhaps the company assumes that when a reasonable consumer reads that a box of dog treats contains oats, apples, cinnamon and flax oil (among other things) and costs twelve bucks for about twenty, as this one does, he should realize that the treats were really designed with Kirstie Alley in mind, and not a Havanese.
Or do you suspect it’s just dogs in the extended Marshall Family that don’t appreciate these things? Tell you what: send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I’ll send you and your dog the rest of them, except for one. If your dog doesn’t spit them out, I’ll eat it.
[No, the puppy in the photo isn’t Rugby, but it looks a bit like he did when he was younger.]