Tomato, Tomahto


Where’s Bandit? As we sat down to eat I noticed that someone was missing. Bandit has a keen food radar and never misses a meal. Steve smiled. Oh, he’s around somewhere. Maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll sleep through dinner.

When Bandit was a wee puppy, I had grandiose ideas of how he’d be raised. He’d have the best of everything and go everywhere with me in his cute little Furberry purse. He would dine on the best dog food, never beg, stay off the furniture, and always do Good Boy outside. My puppy would not know the meaning of the word accident. Why, he’d be the best trained Yorkie there ever was.

I took Bandit with me whenever I could. He was a hit at my office. He was so cute, so good, and everyone wanted to hold him. He sat on my chair as I gathered some paperwork to bring home with me. Ummm, your dog just threw up on your chair. Joanna looked kind of disgusted, but I was more worried about whatever it was that Bandit had gotten into as he has a habit of dining on everything in or out of sight.

Steve wanted to feed him table scraps, but I said no as I believed it would spoil the little guy. I read up on it,you know. When Steve’s mom stayed for the weekend, I explained my theory of all things puppy to her too, when she tried to give her scraps to Bandit. She smiled that same little smile I elicit from Steve when I explain life according to the internet.

Anyway, at some point my plans unraveled, as my plans are wont to do. We had to rush Bandit to the vet one Saturday when his glands became swollen.

Have you ever noticed that these things always happen on the weekends or holidays? Don’t know why, but they do. The vet promptly diagnosed him with a food allergy, possibly corn. He explained that dogs were better off eating people food and kindly offered to sell us some of his home-made dog food. He had it cooking right there, in a Crock Pot, on the counter at the pet hospital. Who knew? Made sense and so we started feeding Bandit table scraps.

And so the little fellow learned the meaning of the word tri-tip and dined in style, his bowl filled with delectable goodies on the floor next to our table. Sometimes he ate what we ate and sometimes leftovers. Bandit doesn’t really like leftovers and pouts until he gets what ever we are having. All was well until a few weeks ago when he started scratching. No fleas and no visible cause in sight. I went to the local pet store to get something to calm down the irritation on his skin. The young girl who worked there asked me what kind of food we fed him.

You shouldn’t feed human food to dogs! I wasn’t going to go into it with her and asked again for the anti-itch spray. She shook her head, and instead of showing me to the anti-itch spray, she took me to the dog food. I’ll give you FREE samples. I was starting to get a little itchy myself as once again she gave the dog food lecture. Trying to get her off the subject, I told her I might try bathing him with a different shampoo. Are you using people or dog shampoo on him? My itchiness grew and I knew I had to pay and get out before I made the front page of the local paper. Just sayin’.

Luckily it was a Friday and I was able to get Bandit in to see his regular vet. Once again, the diagnosis was allergies. Possibly beef, the vet said. We went on our merry way with Prednisone and Greenies Pill Pockets, my new best friend. And so, our little Bandit wasn’t himself as we sat down to eat that night.

Excuse me, but I have to get the camera. He’ll never stay there but I have to try!  I got a shot of him under the table as he started to wake up.

The next thing you know, the table-cloth is moving. It reminded me of Bugs Bunny going after a carrot. The green tablecloth was moving much like the cartoony grass did. And out popped Bandit.And you know I should have scolded him but I kept shooting because he was so darn cute.

Are you getting this? Steve laughed out loud. Yes, I’m clicking away. As I reflect on the whole people food versus dog food controversy, it occurs to me that I may have been just as irritating to Steve and my kindhearted mother in law as the young expert in the Pet Store was to me.

Yathink?!! And you know what else? Bandit got the training down to a science in no time flat!

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