Tao Is Today’s Guest Post-Writer. Tao Is An 8-month-Old German Shepherd Dog.

I live with crazy people. I’m not asking for rescue, yet, – they’re definitely affectionate and make great food. But the lot of them have one large screw loose and it will take all of my burgeoning shepherd skills to operate crowd-control on this group. Last night was a case in point.

Yesterday, the mom asks the 10-year-old girl to go get the kitty cat. Kitty-cat? My ears perk up. I didn’t know we got a cat. Getting a cat would be a good thing. They run fast and are exceptionally fun to chase. So I follow the girl into her room and she pulls a cat out of a basket. I cock my head. That’s an awfully small cat, I wonder. Maybe it’s still a kitten. It doesn’t smell like a cat, but then again this girl has a penchant for bathing animals against their will, so maybe this cat recently suffered such abuse and now smells like soap. I follow her back to the kitchen.

The mom then announces that it’s National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. Huh? -Who knew? So she and the girl start asking the cat(?) about what questions it wants answered. Now I have exceptionally good hearing, – did you notice my ears? But I don’t hear that cat say a sound. But these people act as if the cat’s answering. Telepathy, I wonder? I try to read their human minds, but it’s all mush. Somehow they start believing that the cat has asked them to bake tasty cat treats. Seems reasonable, I suppose. At least the cat’s not crazy.

So the mom gets out her cookbook, – my favorite. It’s called Doggie Delights and Kitty Cuisine co-authored by Martha Ward and her golden retriever, Cinnamon. Click on “continue reading for more of the story and Martha’s recipe for “Happy As A Clam” cat treats.

The mom reads the names of the different cat treats they could make and asks the cat which ones it wants. Again I don’t hear that fur-ball say a thing, but they act as if the cat asks for the Happy As A Clam treats. Okay, but the mom says we don’t have any canned clams. So do you think they choose to make the “Rice Is Nice” treats instead? No, the whole family, including me and old dog Sam, get into the car and drive to the store to buy a 6-oz can of clams. I like riding in the car, so this waste of time and fuel is fine by me.

After dinner, the mom bakes the treats. It doesn’t take her very long. I guess the recipe must be easy. Sam and I watch her in case she drops food, but she doesn’t. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 can minced clams, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons clam liquid
  • 1 egg, beaten

“Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Blend bread crumbs, wheat germ, and onion powder in a large mixing bowl. Add oil, clams, clam liquid, and egg. Mix well, using hands. Roll into small balls or drop by 1/2 teaspoonful on prepared sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Cool 20 minutes in oven. Remove treats from oven. Store baked treats in an airtight container or plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer.”

These clam cat treats smell wonderful. I can’t wait. I begin plotting my attack. Sure enough, as expected, when the timer beeps, the mom removes the cookie sheet of treats and sets them on the counter. Then, she walks away. Aren’t humans stupid. You’d never see a dog catch food then walk away from it before eating it. Sure, I could tell that that cookie sheet was hot. But I’m a shepherd, immune to subtle pain I tell myself. So, when I’m sure they’re busy in the other room, my front feet leap to the counter, and my snout nimbly snatches treats from the sheet. But foiled again! The crazy people come running. They’ve heard my nails on the counter. When is that woman going to trim them again, I ask. But maybe I have to wait for National Answer Your Dog’s Questions Day before I’ll get an answer.

But none-the-less, I’ve had a healthy taste of the treats, and they are incredibly good. That is one lucky cat! So they bring out the kitty. The girl starts to get upset. She notices that I’ve mauled it. “Tao!” she screams. But come on, they tell me they got a cat, but it doesn’t smell like a cat, so I had to check it out. While they were eating dinner, I’d caught the cat. Not a problem, I tell you. I stalked it but it didn’t even walk away. It felt like a cat, -soft and squishy. But usually cats hiss and yowl when you grab them. Something wasn’t right. I figured the surest way to see if this cat was alive or not was to go for its eyes. I ate one. It was unusually hard and tasteless. I was now pretty sure that this cat was a stuffed toy, but to be sure, I ate off its pink nose. Yep, definitely a fake. And my people weren’t fooled? The rest of dinner, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief at these people who I’d ended up with. If only my breeder knew.

So after they get me off the counter and put the treats on a little plate, they bring the stuffed cat over and offer it treats. The cat doesn’t go for them, – not surprised. But they look surprised, so they even put a treat on the cat’s paw. The fluff still doesn’t eat. The people think the cat might prefer to eat the treats on the hearth in front of the fire, so we all move into the family room. Still the cat just “looks” at the tasty treats.

Now this is too much. I can’t stand it anymore. I look at old dog, Sam, but he just watches as if he’s used to this. Of course, he hasn’t tasted the treats; I have. He doesn’t know how scrumptious they are. I do. I watch, looking for my next opportunity to feast.

Eventually, the crazy people think that if this cat doesn’t want the treats maybe the other cat will. Other cat? What other cat? The girl brings out a larger, speckled cat and puts it next to the plate. Now I know that bigger cats have bigger appetites, and if this cat is real, then I have a big problem. I decide to act.

I dive into the scene. The girl tries to hold me back, but I’m stronger than she when I want to be. I get those yummy cat treats. And they are worth all the commotion I cause.

I don’t get them all, though. The people see how much I love them so they start giving some to old dog Sam. He likes them a lot too. You’d think that my people would give them all to us; we’re definitely showing we want them. But no, they do the next crazy thing and put them away in the ‘fridge. Go figure.

But the mom says that since I like them so much she’ll bring them to the puppy agility class I start on Saturday. Will I walk up a stupid ramp for these cat treats? Definitely.