Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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A 4-Woof Treat

By Fred
When Corky is at home with me the dogs can only get approved treats like little stinky salmon pellets, but today anything goes because Corky is at school with Cheryl, a fact that is not lost on Willow, who is especially happy when it's time for my first coffee break.

After about 13 years of coffee breaks, Willow has developed a way to reward me for picking out good treats. I should note that Jam trusts her judgment completely and defers to her in every way.

Yes, 13 years, at an average of two coffee break per day, three days a week (though we only started raising guide dog puppies six years ago, so I could adjust that number, but even so...), I've had about 4,000 unrestricted coffee breaks with Willow. Her level of approval is marked with woofs, and this morning I received a rare 4-woof rating.

Of course, the woofs come before she has actually tasted the treat (just before we head upstairs), so it is solely based on smell and presentation. Okra, I found out years ago, does not interest Willow to any degree. Nor do Brussels sprouts. Little bits of chicken might get me a single woof, but I might as well get no woofs as only one.

No, in order to get above one woof, there has to be some bread involved, and I've learned that it has to be toasted so that the nutty smell can capture her imagination while I make coffee. Plain toast is almost always a two-woof treat, unless I get to be predictable about it, then only one. I really have to be inventive to get beyond two woofs.
Willow and Jam, waiting for the treat

So this morning I took some whole grain bread with pumpkin seeds on the crust, toasted it to almost burnt, then covered it with a layer of mascarpone cheese, so that the cheese melted quickly and the knife made a nice crunchy sound.

And like usual I ate most of it.
Willow bows her head when she sees that I'm eating the toast

That's right: woof, woof, woof... woof

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