Capitalist Dog

I grew up in a capitalist household. My Dad was a small business owner, and worked long and hard hours. Around the dinner table, the stories that made his eyes shine had to do with him making a good deal. He’d use his connections so buy something “worth the money,” as he’d say, and then sell it dear. He was a great networker before networking was even a thing.

Franco has always been an itchy dog. You can get his back legs to start pumping by scratching his chest, back, or belly. We’ve talked to the vet about this, and it seems his itchiness isn’t bad enough to warrant the potential side effects of the medication available. His itchiness recently increased on his back to the point we took him in, and learned he had a staph infection that required a course of antibiotics. He gets 2 pills twice a day.

For the first couple of weeks, this treat was easy to get him to take. I’d take a little canned wet dog food, wrap it around the two pills, and hand it to him, and he’d scarf it down. For variety, sometimes I’d instead wrap the pills in peanut butter or squirt some aerosol cheese on it. The past couple of days, however, Franco’s capitalist instincts have started to kick in.

The logic, which I can read like a book by looking in his eyes, goes something like this: “He really wants me to eat this stuff. I like it a lot, but if I hold out, I might get something I like even better.” So suddenly when medicine time came, the canned dog food ball was sniffed at, ignored, and Franco would walk away a short distance, lay down, looked up at me as if to say, “What else you got?”

Now I can yell, grind my teeth, jump up and down, but none of that matters. Franco looks on with the confidence of a capitalist that knows when he holds all the cards. This morning, he refused a hybrid, which was canned dog food, aerosol cheese and peanut butter. I played all my cards, he sniffed, and lay down. Alice was on her way out the door as Franco and I were discussing this, and she suggested tuna. So I opened a can while muttering, wrapped the pills in some fresh tuna, put the concoction under his nose, and he scarfed it up like the champion he is. I swear to you that he looked at me after this morning’s dose as if to day, “don’t get cocky… we have 4 more weeks of this stuff to take, and I have an excellent memory. Tonight’s pill taking is still ahead of us. I’ll keep you posted.

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