Wilmes: Dog’s palate may be more refined than his master’s

December 4, 2018

Bogie, who is a canine connoisseur when it involves dog food, apparently wants to diversify his cuisine. As our resident oldster, he wants something tastier than nuggets. To that end, we entered a pet food store. The clerk led us to shelves well stocked with cans that carried prices beyond what we are used to.

Kathy took the lead while her husband went mute, which he often does lest he inflict foot-in-mouth injury upon himself. The clerk insisted the choice of two full cartons of cans was superb. She knew that was the case because she had taste tested it before it went on the shelf.

“It’s good,’’ she said.

Was it filet mignon good or dog food crème de la crème?

I didn’t ask before lugging a carton to the trunk and was thunderstruck when Kathy disclosed how much the affair set us back financially.

A college classmate, who lived in what was affectionally called “the cockroach hotel’’ because the pests were numerous and large, spent a good part of his pursuit of college days eating dog food so he would have money for greater pursuits. He insisted it didn’t taste bad once you had gotten used to it. He emerged undamaged from his diet, due in no small part to a love interest who made it her mission to straighten him out.

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,’’ I barked as Bogie pushed his nose into the dish with the new cuisine.

Cubes of what appeared to resemble steak spilled from it as meaty aroma filled the shed. The grain-free Brauts-N-Tots brand includes beef sausage links, peas, potatoes and carrots in gravy.

It was the perfect time to negotiate. Bogie would be fed a steady diet of sublime if he agreed to chase the cottontails away and not allow the possum to plunder the cracked corn meant for the birds.

The possum is perhaps the biggest and ugliest one I’ve ever seen. Possums are egg-eaters and can damage the pheasant population. It easily could be dispatched with a 16-gauge shotgun, but the weapon had been given away to prevent me from shooting myself in both feet.

Bogie refused to bite on the proposition. After all, he lives with the rabbits, squirrels and possum.

In an endless pursuit of useless knowledge — a search that began around the Thanksgiving table regarding who makes the best pumpkin, apple and cherry pies — I searched for a possum pie recipe in the internet’s most remote reaches.

I found one offered by someone named Chelsea Smith, who claims possum pie is even better than mincemeat. The recipe includes glazed huckleberries, three shots of gin, possum cut into cubes, sliced carrots and cabbage.

All things being equal, it would be a nice change of pace given that I’ve played the role on noncelebrity chef the past few weeks after Kathy’s carpal tunnel surgery.

Meanwhile, Bogie eagerly awaits morning and afternoon meals without regard to the deal that had been attempted. A youthful cottontail hangs out a few feet away from his dish and a chipmunk is undisturbed.

The possum reappears each day at dusk. Fallen leaves crunch beneath my feet as I move toward him. He ambles away with a full belly and not a care in the world before taking cover in a hollow cottonwood. Words never will hurt him, but I nonetheless hurl them like bullets in his general direction.

It feels better for having done it.

Kathy wants to know what the fuss is all about. Bogie isn’t bothered because he’s asleep in his well-cushioned bed.

The second carton of dog food offers chicken, bison and liver.

I like liver but only with fried onions and ketchup. Hmmm ... it could be that my former college buddy ate far better than it seemed.

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