I saw something in the grocery store recently that gave me pause – sauce for dog food. It was in a bottle that looked like barbecue sauce, you know, the kind we humans like to ladle on our brisket. The contents of this bottle however were designed to improve the dining experience for our dogs. Condiments for canines. Really?
I rushed past, in a hurry to pick up one of my daughters, but was left thinking about the craziness of catering to our animals in such a way. Our local newspaper had just asked the citizens of my town of Lawrence, Kansas to donate food to a central food bank, which had alarmingly low inventory to help the needy. The news is so full of disappointing statistics about unemployment and the economy that I have to sometimes shut it off. My daughters’ neighborhood grade school is in jeopardy of being shut down because of lean school funding. The thought of a group of executives sitting around a table strategizing on how to sell something different to pet owners made me furious.
Then I thought of Bear.
Bear was the dog love of my life. I love my current dog Lucy, I really do, but Bear is in a different category. I ironed Bear’s holiday bandanas. We drove across the country with Bear (he was the finest travel companion ever). He was my firstborn and constant companion for over a dozen years. Would I have bought sauce for his food if I thought he wanted it? Probably.
We feed those we love. Sometimes it may be cold cereal to little girls like it was this morning at our house. Or a simple bowl of pasta. Or a special meal at a restaurant to celebrate. It may be fast food, slow food, processed food, or gourmet food. But food is the stuff of love, even a bottle of dog gravy. So the question for me today is who to feed. Yes, our customers at Esquina & The Burger Stand, my family, and even my silly dog Lucy. But also to my neighbor, because it can be a tough world out there and not everyone has someone providing condiments.