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Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

DOG TREATS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 25, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– They may look good, but what are they made of?

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My mom has two miniature dachshunds whom she is very attached to. Like a lot of dog owners, she pampers them and frankly, I think they lead a very comfortable existence. It’s a good gig. All they have to do is return her love and try not to soil the carpet too often. Other than that, she dotes on them as if they were her own children. They have comfortable beds to sleep in, plenty of toys and chew sticks to occupy their time, they can play in a fenced-in yard, and have homemade dinners prepared for their finicky tastes. I would probably sign up for such a program myself, but I fear my testicles would be sacrificed like the dogs did.

You may remember me talking about the German Shepherds we had when I was younger. Back then, all we fed them was some Purina Dog Chow mixed with a can of Ken-L Ration. Sometimes we would add a raw egg to give their coat a shine. If they were lucky they might get some leftover table scraps, but we were careful not to overindulge them. If they were really lucky, we would give them a Milk Bone which was one of the few treats available at the time. The dogs would have to earn the treat by performing some sort of trick, such as sitting up on their back paws, barking on command, or balancing the treat on their nose. They were quite good at entertaining us. However, this didn’t hold up over the years, and today the dachshunds have turned the tables on my mom where she is now trained to give them treats on command.

The dachshunds don’t eat Milk Bones either. The times have changed and I am amazed by the variety of dog treats available today. I guess Milk Bones are no longer considered acceptable for the discriminating tastes of dogs. Huh? There is now a wide selection of “softer” and more meatier treats. For example, there are treats shaped liked miniature porterhouse steaks (complete with bone), dog pepperoni sticks, bacon shaped strips, drumsticks, sausages, etc., all in a variety of flavors such as beef, cheese, bacon, and there is even one claiming a filet mignon taste. All very appetizing.

This got me thinking, how do we truly know these treats taste as they claim? In examining the ingredients of these products, I noticed most consist of such things as chicken by-product meal, liver, animal fat, and dried cheese product. I’m not sure how you produce a “filet mignon” flavor from this. I never liked liver, yet this seems to be one of the main ingredients and I suspect effects the taste. But how do we know, in fact, something tastes as they’re advertised? The animals are certainly not going to tell us. So, there must be some poor slob out there actually taste-testing these products and giving their stamp of approval, but I don’t think this is a job I would volunteer for.

It is my guess all these dog treats actually taste the same and are just stamped out to form different meaty shapes. I also believe the so-called “flavors” are designed to appeal more to the owners as opposed to the pets themselves. After all, I can’t remember the last time a dog said to its owner, “Yea, pick me up a bag of the pepperoni sticks, and don’t forget the nacho cheese.”

Ah, the life of a dog.

Originally published: January 21, 2011

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE WORD “GOBBLEDYGOOK” – Cheap words and expressions that bother me.

LAST TIME:  THE NAIVE SANDERS SUPPORTERS  – Just ask them.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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Posted in Life, Pets | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

DOG POOP

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 24, 2014

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What do your dogs think about all of this?

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It is not often I discuss something as banal as dog poop, but I recently witnessed an incident which caused me to think about it.

First, I use the term “poop” here as it is perhaps the least offensive word describing the item in question. I could try using more cerebral adaptations, such as “stool,” “excrement,” “feces,” or “manure,” but I do not think there are many veterinarians who follow my column. As kids, we knew better than to say “crap,” and the “S” word was guaranteed to get your mouth washed out with soap. So, we defaulted to “poop,” especially when we were around adults.

It wasn’t that long ago when most people let their dogs relieve themselves in the confines of the backyard. When there was too much poop on hand, someone would have to shovel it up, a task usually assigned to the offspring. However, if you walked the dog around the neighborhood, the animal was allowed to do his business and you simply moved along.

Somewhere in the 1990’s though this started to change, and to be a good neighbor you were expected to pick up your dog’s poop in plastic bags. I think this was when we started to become “politically correct.” Initially, newspaper bags were convenient for picking up the poop, but now we have all kinds of designer bags for securing the merchandise. In other words, something that once was free was now beginning to cost money. I wish I could find a way to blame technology for this, but I tend to blame the media instead.

The ASPCA reports there are an estimated 70-80 million dogs in the United States representing approximately 37-47% of all households. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of poop. The next question is how much of our garbage dumps are filled with these little plastic poopy packages? I wonder how archeologists centuries from now will interpret these voluminous fun bags. I can hear them now saying, “Why did they bag it? Didn’t they know the plastic was bad for the environment? They should have just allowed it to work into the soil naturally.”

Recently though, I happened to watch a neighbor walking his two dogs. Before he could walk them off his property, nature called and both animals left their packages on his front lawn. As my neighbor leaned down to pick up the poop in a decorative plastic bag, I happened to notice the expressions of both dogs as they waited for their master to complete his task. They seemed to look at him puzzled, seeming to say, “What the heck are you doing? Have you lost your mind? I put that there for a purpose. You’re embarrassing me. Surely, you’re not bringing that home with us. Just leave it alone or I’ll do it again.” And inevitably he did. Next time you see someone walking their dog, watch the animal’s expression and you’ll see what I mean.

After witnessing this incident, I came to the conclusion it is more difficult to train the master than the animal.

As an aside, I think I’ve discovered a new Murphy’s Law: “A dog will only poop if he can embarrass the walker.” Meaning, if you happen to be recognized by a good neighbor, or a fine looking woman or man, your dog will inevitably decide to take this opportunity to do his business, and so much for you leaving a good impression on the other person.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT ARE WE GIVING THANKS TO? – What kind of grace do you give at turkey time?

LAST TIME:  COMPUTER PRINTERS  – They should be simple to maintain; invariably, they are not.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; The Glenn Pav Show on WTAN-AM (1340) in Clearwater, FL, Mon-Fri (9-10am); and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Pets | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

TALKING TO THE ANIMALS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 21, 2012

BRYCE ON OUR CHANGING WORLD

– The death of discourse, another casualty of the 21st century.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Have you ever noticed how people tend to be kinder and more understanding to their pets as opposed to the people around them, be it family, friends, coworkers, shopkeepers, or whoever? The contrast is startling. Whereas some people bristle at others, pets have become their pride and joy. So much so, people have no problem paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for dogs and cats. Years ago you could pick up a pet for as little as $20, with papers. Now, not only do people shell out big bucks for pets but lavish them with expensive food and toys, not to mention grooming and health issues which can also cost hundreds of dollars. Their teeth are now brushed, their nails painted, and hair carefully coiffed. Frankly, nothing is too good for them. It’s a bit disturbing though, when the pet receives more attention than the people surrounding the owner.

People tend to believe their attraction to pets is because of the “unconditional love” they have for their owners. Dogs can certainly be loyal and possess distinct personalities, but I think it is a matter of the love and attention bestowed on the pet as opposed to the other way around. People like them because they know the animal will not challenge the person’s authority and will live according to the owner’s rules. They will even have conversations with their pets in an attempt to communicate with them. Deep down people know they cannot respond so they invent a reply for the animal to give. Some people have whole conversations with animals as opposed to the people around them. The pet depends on the owner for care and feeding, and the owner depends on the pet for an interpersonal relationship. This forms a strong bond between the two which is often stronger than those between humans.

I think a lot of this is due to our failure to properly socialize. Thanks to technology, we as a species, have become more reclusive. People would rather plug in and tune out as opposed to talking to the person sitting next to them. When we try to converse, we either become sensitive to political correctness or attack the other person’s point of view viciously. Instead of engaging in an argument or stepping on somebody’s toes, many people prefer talking to their pets, probably because they know their response will be predictable. Since pets do not talk back, people prefer their company as opposed to human contact which I consider rather odd.

If you could somehow track it, you would probably discover a parallel between the increased use of technology and the boom in the pet industry. People want the touch and comfort of another organism, just as long as it isn’t human.

I happen to participate in a weekly get-together with a group of men. In addition to enjoying some libations and a good cigar, we talk. Frankly, we talk about a lot of different things. We discuss politics, religion, history, current events, sports, humor, right and wrong, and just about everything else. We do not see eye-to-eye on everything which often leads to some interesting arguments, where we must ask questions and defend our positions. This is not destructive discourse but rather constructive instead. By doing so, we learn from each other and have cultivated strong interpersonal relationships. It’s refreshing to sit among people where you do not fear offending anyone or starting a fist fight, but rather to address a subject rationally. Sometimes, these discussions can become spirited, but there is no malice in them, and by doing so we find them to be enlightening and somewhat therapeutic. I feel fortunate to be among such men and relish our weekly discussions. To be able to talk on the level, where the challenge is to seek understanding, and where a person’s word is their bond, can be both informative and comforting.

I have mentioned our weekly discussion group to other people I know. Most are envious of such a venue where you can speak openly and frankly without fear of repercusions. Many have told me when they get together with friends, neighbors, or business associates, the discussion is rather shallow and meaningless, and nothing like what I described. This makes me believe we generally have a fear of openness, something that is not an issue with a pet, where we can be who we really want to be.

There is something to be said about looking a person in the eye and telling them precisely what you think without fear of retribution. You certainly cannot do this through social media. And I do not care how smart you think your cat or dog is, you cannot do it with them either.

Just remember, the fictional character Doctor Dolittle was considered an oddball eccentric, certainly not normal.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
COMMON COURTESY – A simple form of communications which reflects our character.


Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, (12:30-3:00pm).

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Communications, Life, Pets, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

DOG STORIES

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 17, 2010

If you ever owned a dog, you’ve probably got a favorite story you like to tell, all dog owners seem to have such an affliction; here’s mine.

Many years ago when we lived in southwest Connecticut our house was nestled on three acres in the woods. At the time, we had a large German shepherd named “Duke” who was a beautiful animal and a great watchdog. Nobody got into our house without Duke’s consent, and I mean nobody. I’m not going to say he was an aggressive dog but he knew he was the cock of the roost in our neighborhood as other dogs kept their distance. This of course meant we didn’t allow Duke to run free in the area even though it was wooded. Instead, my father hooked up a metal cable from the back of our house down the slope behind our property to a tree about 75 yards away. He then attached a chain to the cable, one end to slide along the cable and the other end to the dog. It was a secure connection yet afforded Duke considerable freedom down the back of our house into the woods.

The section of the cable that ended at the house stopped by our carport which offered Duke a dry area in the event of rain. We didn’t leave the dog out constantly, but he did enjoy being outside particularly in such a scenic setting. In the carport we also stored shovels, rakes, garbage cans and our bicycles. At the time, I had a large J.C. Higgins bicycle which was a brand offered by Sears many years ago. It was an adult sized bike which I had trouble peddling as a small kid. My parents thought I would quickly “grow into it.” Right. Ever try to operate a bicycle where your feet cannot reach the bottom of the peddles? This led to more than one crash before I finally “grew into it.”

Anyway, one day I came home from school and parked my bicycle in the carport. My mother had put Duke on the wire before I got home and, as usual, the dog was glad to see me. I petted and scratched him before going into the house. I don’t know how he did it but during the commotion, Duke somehow got his chain wrapped around the handle bars of the bike, not just once but twice. After awhile he naturally wanted to go down the stairs in the back and out into the woods. As he moved though, the chain wrapped more tightly around the bike. You’ve got to remember that Duke was a big dog and, as such, a tug on the chain wouldn’t necessarily deter him. Consequently, the further he walked down the back, the bike began to move. So much so, the bike suddenly left the carport and went airborne down the chain. I can only imagine what that dog thought as he saw a large J.C. Higgins come rolling down the wire straight at him. Naturally, the dog ran off to elude the monster chasing him, but no matter how fast he ran the bicycle remained in hot pursuit. He finally made it to the end of the wire and hid behind the tree it was tied to. Only after the dog stopped did my bicycle come to a halt.

When I came back outside to the carport I could find neither my bicycle or dog. At first, I thought someone may have stolen them, but when I looked down the wire at the other end I saw my J.C. Higgins menacingly standing guard over a large German shepherd cowering behind a tree with its tail between its legs. It was quite a site; “some fearless animal” I thought. For a long time afterwards I noticed Duke kept his distance from the J.C. Higgins. He didn’t trust it. Evidently this was a serious problem for Sears who discontinued the brand shortly thereafter.

Have you got a favorite dog story? Drop me a line and tell me about it.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 11:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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