It's hard not to be easy going and lovable when you are a golden retriever. My girls are especially good dogs who put up with a lot of abuse from visiting little ones, older kids running and bating them to follow or using them as throw pillows. They are incredibly entertaining to us and give us much love and devotion while asking very little from us. When we are eating or cooking they don't bother us or beg from the table...though they will sit under the dining room table in case something drops. We do, however, need to work on coffee table ettiquette, it's hard for them to resist drooling on eye level treats and their bushy tails knock everything in their path over. My dogs also have an uncanny ability to peg unwitting guests as weak links...children (low to the ground) and people allergic to fur are favorite "targets." They are fed a cup of dog food twice a day, one vitamin apiece and a little dog treat once or twice a day...no table scraps...and this suits them just fine.
Until...you bring out the peanut butter.
They LOVE peanut butter.
I can start making a peanut butter sandwich and within a minute they will smell it and come running. They like to try and squeeze themselves between me and the
kitchen counter whenever anything with peanut butter is involved.
My son usually takes a peanut butter sandwich to school for lunch,
and the girls know it. They also know my son at age 10 still prefers his sandwich
without the crust...and sandwich crusts are the only table scraps I ever give them.
My older dog, Maggie, is a bit more obsessed with peanut butter than her little sister, Martha. Maggie especially loves when Miss T, age 4 and human, comes to lunch. Maggie and Miss T are peanut butter kindred spirits. Miss T prefers open face peanut butter sandwiches cut in the shape of a heart. The peanut butter sometimes gets on her hands while she's eating and she sometimes forgets to use a napkin and sometimes wipes her hands on the back of her pants. It's no surprise that Maggie likes to sit right next to Miss T and help her keep her pants and her chair clean. When a lot of folks are coming over I put the dogs up into my bedroom, just so I don't have to keep track of what they are up to. But if Maggie is shut upstairs and hears Miss T's voice she knows the peanut butter can't be far away. She doesn't mean to be naughty, but she MUST get to Miss T! So, my big, fat, slow moving Maggie becomes Houdini. It doesn't matter what kind of barrier I've put up...peanut butter is her kryptonite, she is powerless to resist and she breaks through to seek her doggy destiny.
Recipe for a happy & content dog =
a nearly empty plastic peanut butter jar.
When I've used up a jar of peanut butter, I save it until I have two and then it's treat time for my furry friends. A nearly empty, lidless jar of peanut butter will keep your dog happy and entertained for a long time...it's an especially good back deck or outside treat.
(I'm also betting it could work at keep Miss T happy and entertained, too!)