Lamb Chop to Lamb Chomp

Back in the dark ages when we had to watch TV in large wooden boxes, there was a ventriloquist named Shari Lewis. She had a children’s show featuring hand puppets. Besides Shari, the stars were Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse, and the “star” Lamb Chop.

Lamb Chop was basically a white sock with closed felt eyes and a pink nose. And a lot of attitude. She always had a retort for Shari. I was afraid that Shari might have her revenge in 1996 with Shari’s Passover Surprise. I hoped that Lamb Chop was not the surprise, as in the Seder dinner. Fortunately Shari was just teaching Lamb Chop about Passover.

Shari died a couple of years later and apparently Lamb Chop has fallen on hard times. I found her (and many of her clones) in bins at the store. It seems that Lamb Chop has become a chew toy for dogs. Her name isn’t on the box, but I’d know her anywhere.

To add insult to injury, Lamb Chop and her fellow sheep come in three sizes and multiple colors. I’m thinking that someone is finally getting revenge for being annoyed by Lamb Chop for years during his childhood. Or in an advanced case of sibling rivalry, getting even with a sister for years of torment by destroying a TV idol.

I wouldn’t normally be looking at the dog toys except they did a major renovation of the pet area. They didn’t add any space, but they moved things around so the toys are on the main aisle. And apparently pet toys are a big business.

Our cats have the basic set of 50+ variations on mice and birds that they can carry around. Most of them were accumulated during the lifetimes of the previous cat residents.

I looked for a new scratching post. Apparently cats only scratch on kitty condos these days. If you want something that is strictly for scratching, the material is no longer carpet on a pole. It’s something that looks like cardboard that lies flat on the floor. I’m not sure how to train the cats to scratch down rather than up. (I think it’s some kind of cat spin to call a scratching post a toy. Everyone knows they’re for sharpening the weapons.)

Snoops’ favorite game with my husband involves a hole in the cat tree. He puts all the toys away in the bottom section which is a box with a hole in it. She watches then pulls them all back out again. It’s cheaper than buying more toys. And neater.

It appears that dog toys are less durable. They seem to fall mainly in the categories of chew and fetch.

There is an appallingly large variety of things for a dog to gnaw on. A stuffed version of any animal that you can think of can be thrown to the dog. The one exception is the absence of cat chew toys. I imagine that’s to keep the cat lobby from shutting down the company. Or using the corporate boardroom as a litterbox.

Also gone are the days of throwing Fido a bone from the dinner steak. I couldn’t find any of the rawhide chews we used to sell. However, there is a large variety of rubber/plastic “bones” for the health of the dogs’ teeth. And you can get gluten-free bones to clean the dogs’ teeth and give extra calcium to puppies.

Gluten-free is only the tip of the iceberg in the pet food industry. Dog food proudly announces that it has taken the grains out of the food. Cat food announces that it has added grasses to its products. Cheese, eggs, all types of “people” food can now be part of your furry friend’s dinner. (Of course, you don’t want to share these items from the table. Their version is more pure than ours.)

There are so many organic food choices they have taken over a whole aisle in both the cat and dog sections. I’m not sure I really understand the concept of organic pet food. Do they only use free-range chickens? Only use cows that have fed on pesticide-free grass?

I think we may have gone over the edge with the new dog food I discovered. It needs to be kept in a refrigerator at the store and at home. Some of it looks like kibble. But there is a selection of things that look like tubes of sausage. It seems that you break it up and feed it to the dog. And it costs more than the sausage in the meat department.

In spite of the over-abundance for dogs and cats in the newly refurbished department, there is still one glaring absence. I could not find a single thing for Lord Nelson, the hedgehog. I can’t believe they couldn’t find room for a single exercise ball or wheel. Guess we have to stick with the wax worm treats.

Perhaps if I look hard enough, I can find him a mini Lamb Chop.

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