Treats or Dog Food? That Is the Revealing Question.

If you’ve been following my blog, you have some sense of how much treats mean to me. You also know that not any old pleasurable chew, but specially flavored ones. My second favorite is bacon, but chicken and fish will do in a pinch. It might surprise you that duck is one of which I’m particularly fond. However, my very favorite, bar none, is liver. Yes, liverwurst sends me into spirals from which it is difficult for me to return.

Now that you know about my overwhelming desire for delicacies, here is something that might surprise you. I’m not a foodie. No “Food, glorious food” for me, even though my name is Oliver. I’m not one of those dogs that go begging when hungry, run when I hear the kibbles being measured, jump up and down when the sustenance is poised above my bowl, or gobble it down like a racehorse, chocking myself in the attempt to devour it before I can even taste it. No, that’s not me.

(Ollie’s dog food being ignored.)

Then again, human food is something of which I’ve had very little. James used to give me baby carrots, slices of apples, mix pumpkin and yogurt in my food, but no longer. Why you might ask? Because they don’t interest me. There was a time when I’d play with a carrot or apple, but I put away childish things as I got older. Okay, so these are not childish things, and, yes, I’m still very much like a puppy even though I’m four human years old – a little over thirty-two in dog years.

(© 2015 WebMD, LLC)


Speaking of human food, I’d absolutely love to get my jaws around some real liver and bacon. It would be like expiring and going over the rainbow to dog heaven where Trek waits for me. I’ve awoken from many a dream where I’m eating one or the other. No matter what I try to do, James will NOT let me have any of the real stuff. [That’s not true – we trained you to “come” with liverwurst.] That was James commenting on my blog. I stand – actually I’m lying down – corrected.

Since James didn’t write a poem about me and food, I let him choose one that had something to do with cuisine. He and Ron went to India many years ago, before I was born. Part of their trip was savoring spicy meals. It may be only a small part of this poem, but after James read it to me, I agreed that he could use it. We hope you enjoy it.


traversing the subcontinent of India
first to Delhi both old and new with a red fort
built from ruddy stone
market stalls splashed with vibrant hues
sweepers and pickers like ants scurrying
          cleansing the city
riches juxtaposed with depredation
guarded compounds besides bric-a-brac slums
          shards of tossed away lives

the fortresses of Rajasthan from Udaipur to Jaipur
visited by day while traveling by train at night
a palace on wheels if you will
one of many highlights meeting the Raj at the Lake Palace
surveying bird sanctuaries and of course the Taj Mahal
          a luxurious burial site

the financial capital of Bombay (Mumbai)
hustling and bustling with the sounds of coins
          the gateway to paradise

once a sleepy town Bangalore hums 24/7
with a technological and commercial explosion
          the new generation leaping into the future

taking a break in Goa on the tranquil Arabian Sea
once Portuguese and then a hippie enclave
          now an opulent seaside resort

flavors one never knew existed beyond curry
with lavish spices added to savor the mouthwatering heat
          finally tasting true Indian food

painting exquisite lines on silk with a fine quill
brilliant colors depicting court life animals and gods
          in miniatures or manuscripts

a wedding in Calcutta with a white horse
floral garlands exchanged and henna applied
          a dot of vermillion powder
populated with colonial structures of a bygone age
tree limbs and vines embracing glassless doors windows
          once having been in England’s shadow

by car journeying into the heartland passing decorated lorries
detecting colorful dots – women in saris – in the fields
          populated by buttery flowers of the mustard plant

meandering freely for each Indian citizen a body of water
known as the Ganges River gives and receives many lives
          as it flows into the Bay of Bengal

a return to Delhi for a respite before departing
cherishing the experience and cheerfulness shared
          one of many places of enlightening delight

Of course, James has never let me try any Indian food. He even made some the other night – Dhaba Chicken Curry and Masala Dhal – while I stood (actually, like I said before, I was lying down) there salivating over the aroma of the spices he added to make the curry. That’s right, he didn’t use a store-bought curry but made one himself. I will say it smelled divine. (After all the nice things I’ve said, you’d think I merited a treat.)

I must admit that it seems interesting to me that James finds delight in traveling, while I find ecstasy in delights. Speaking of treats, I have a few bones and other chewables that are flavored with all of my favorite tastes – all except liver. I never have understood what that is.

Oh, I wasn’t going to tell you, but James said if I didn’t he would in a bracket – that’s how you know it’s him speaking. Okay, so here goes. The night James cooked Indian food, he also served garlic Naan. After heating it in the oven, he lightly buttered it. After putting his plate on the table, He went to get something, and, well, it was too tempting – I snuck a few nibbles of his Naan. Now knowing what I’ve been missing, I’m going to – . [No you aren’t going to steal any more human food off plates – that is not allowed.]

Like I said, James speaks in brackets. Just saying.

Earlier, James mentioned his and Ron’s training me to “come.” If you return in two weeks, I’ll fill you in on how I responded to that particular piece of training. You might find it helpful in teaching your dog to return to you with one simple word.

Between now and then, feel free to scroll down and make a comment, letting me know what you think of my blog and James’ poems. I always like to hear from you, so please leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)


Paw Prints courtesy of
All photos © James Stack 2018 unless otherwise indicated

3 thoughts on “Treats or Dog Food? That Is the Revealing Question.

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