Monday, October 16, 2006

If I had a dog, would I buy this?

I'm a coupon-clipper and have been all my life since my mother did it, and therefore I don't know any better. From saving a nickel on toilet paper 30 years ago to $2.00 off my favorite shampoo offered solely because it has new packaging (and a new description and size and yes, price), I regularly cut and sort. I have my own category system and take my envelope with me to the grocery store. I do get disgruntled because the best and biggest coupons hit the Sunday section of the newspaper and then expire before the item makes it into our stores. I try to be selective: yes, I'll try new products, but no, I won't clip and use just to be clipping and using. Not only am I brand-specific about many things, I'm downright loyal!

So, there I was yesterday, turning the pages of the Sunday coupon insert, pulling those I wanted when I stopped at what looked like a new brand of breakfast sausage. I'm not extremely brand-specific on this item and the magic word--FREE--was in about 100-point font. "All Natural". Good. "High protein". Good. "Gently Cooked." A bit unusual.

But not if it's refrigerated dog food.

My eyes whipped back to the top of the page. (I'd been sidetracked by FREE.) There, in an even bigger font, complete with a smiling, happy golden retriever, was: Fresh Dog Food, Homestyle Select

I don't have a dog, so of course, I don't want this, but I wondered, if I did and I bought it and put it in the refrigerator and didn't tell (as in warn) every member of the household what it was, would someone open it and cook it? Not that I think it would hurt them, but still...

Then I remembered one of my favorite stories from childhood. An elderly woman lived on the street behind us, and she could walk across her backyard to ours. My parents had a direct line to Dallas because of work (this was the 1960s and such a line was rare) and the woman liked to call her sister. So one day she came in the back door, walked through the kitchen on the way to the bedroom where the phone was, and grabbed herself a nibble of the snack on the counter. My mother watched in horror as she crunched on the cat's dry food, nodded, and went on about her business. We never told her and she lived a quite healthy decade longer.

What can I add to that?

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