LESLIE CRISS: Pup’s penchant for produce poses problem for Pop’s plants



“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” – Roger A. Caras

“You can always trust a dog that likes peanut butter.” – Kate DiCamillo


I’ve not met a single member of the canine persuasion that does not like peanut butter.

It’s a favorite treat of my trio of pups.

I have a Kong Classic treat holder for each dog. I’m not sure how to describe a Kong, but I’ll try.

It’s bright red and looks a little like a squatty snowman whose body is composed of three different sized snowballs.

There’s a large hole at the large end and a small hole at the smaller end.

Someone told me once that filling the Kongs full of peanut butter and then freezing them will keep a dog busy and entertained for hours.

It’s not necessarily so. That all depends on the how passionate the pup is about peanut butter. My George can clean out a large Kong in 30 minutes, then with his soulful brown eyes, he’ll beg for more.

I can tell you that while their tongues are attacking the peanut butter and for a long while after, they are joyful as can be.

As far as I know, my dad’s new furry best friend has not yet tried peanut butter. I’m sure he’d like it.

But Jake seems to be, at heart, a lover of vegetables.

Since he left the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society’s shelter and went to live with Dad in Corinth, he’s chowed down on some tough old okra left growing in Dad’s garden. He’s also eaten the bark of some trees.

More than anything, Jake likes tomatoes. Green, red – it matters not.

He’s cleaned up the partial ones left behind by birds and squirrels, the ones that fell off the vine and even some Dad picked up at his local Farmers’ Market for his own enjoyment later on.

I learned about the most recent Jake antic in a phone call from my dad.

“Guess what Jake has done now?” my dad asked.

I was almost afraid of the answer. After all, it was I who discovered the golden retriever puppy at the shelter here in Tupelo and told Dad about him.

“I picked up three nice-looking tomatoes at the Farmers’ Market yesterday,” Dad said. “They still needed to ripen a little, so I put them on the table in the dining room by the window.”

I knew what was coming; still, I waited patiently for the story to continue.

“They were there when I went to bed last night and they were gone when I got up this morning,” Dad said. “I looked all over the house, and there is no sign of the tomatoes.”

“No tomato-stained mess?” I asked him.

“Not one single sign.”

“Well, at least he didn’t make a mess with the tomatoes,” I mumbled, defending the dog.

Jake’s safe for now.

I just hope he’ll stay out of Dad’s fall crop of mustard and turnip greens.

Or my canine trio could become a quartet.


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