In the face of these hard economic times, it has been suggested to me by Frank's father that perhaps Frank does not need quite so many fancy toys and/or treats. If you are assuming that this suggestion fell on rather deaf ears, then let me take this moment assure you that you are correct. However, seeing as how many older and wiser sorts have told us that marriage is about compromise, I decided to make an effort, and have recently discovered a delightful solution which involves both a tasty treat and a fun filled hour of entertainment: The Fage Yogurt Cup. Fage is a delicious Greek yogurt which one can enjoy in a variety of flavors and fat contents. Frank and I usually enjoy one of the 2% milk fat variety, the feeling being that if we want to enjoy 12 grams of fat in a dairy product, which is what the original kind has, we would rather that dairy product be Haagen Dazs.
First Frank spends about 10 minutes intensely focused on whomever is eating the yogurt (I am pleased to say that this person is usually me). He then spends another couple of minutes eagerly focused upon the anticipated container.
This is a new stalking pose for Frank, and it must be said, it is one with which I am not truly comfortable. I am not at all sure that a pug's little foot is supposed to turn at this angle....
Frank's dad says that it is fine; that he is like a sprinter in a starting gate.
Then comes the period of delighted licking, which is actually quite hard to capture on film as Frank scoots and flicks the lightweight container quite briskly across the floor. Fortunately, fairly early on, he got stuck under a chair which delayed his rapid progress for a bit.
Now, part of the joy for Frank in licking a Fage Yogurt Cup comes from the fact that there is not simply one area to enjoy - there are 2! One for the creamy yogurt, and one for the delicious peaches or strawberries that you mix in (there is also a cherry variety, but Frank and I do not enjoy cherry flavored things). The additional container extends the licking time from about 3 minutes into about 5.
Oh Frank! You missed a spot...how very unlike you...
We are then faced with the all too frequent dilema of the pug's tongue not licking downward, or as a matter of fact, very far upward, and have to take a washcloth break before any yogurt makes its way into his nose roll.
Frank then snooffles about pushing and licking the cup for another 10 minutes in the hopes that something more will appear. Frequently it ends up underneath a piece of funiture, a situation for which I am most obviously blamed.
Oh Frank. It was not me who pushed your Fage Yogurt Cup under the book shelf.
He then tries to get it out for about 10 minutes before his squeaks and wails become too much to bear and someone with opposable thumbs kindly fishes it out for him.
Following the recovery of the cup, the new toy is turned upside down and the play portion of the evening begins.
Frank, while trying to overturn the cup, will inevitably kick it across the floor, chase it, catche it, and toss it about. This goes on for approximately 20 minutes; lick, kick, frolic and repeat....
Finally, Frank settles down to enjoy chewing on his Fage Yogurt Cup. This is the time to be very vigilant - only supervised chewing is allowed! If he starts to chew the hard edge or it looks like he might puncture through the plastic, away the cup goes.
Ultimately this Fage Yogurt Cup phase is the shortest, only about 5 minutes. After all, no one wants to take a pug to the emergency vet after they have ingested part of a plastic "economically friendly" toy; aside from the torturous situation of having hurt your pug, a visit to the emergency vet would MOST decidedly negate the economically friendly part of the whole evening.
Oh yes Frank! The Fage Yogurt Cup - a delightful treat (fully supervised only!) for hard times!
A delicious AND affordable hour well spent!
NOTE: The cup is also quite cleaned out for recycling, thus saving the water needed to rinse it. Oh Frank! How thrifty and responsible you are!
Much to Frank's delight, I have recently had a lighter than normal work load. This means that not only do I have extra quality time with which to spoon a pug, but also with which to do some research into various pug activities that Frank might enjoy.
Last night Frank was a bit cowed by a delightful video which we discovered while perusing YouTube - I highly recommend that you get all the way through, though the first 30 seconds may seem a little dull (it is only a minute long I think). Frank particularly enjoys the air swim as the pug is being lowered into place:
(oh - and if you are at work you may want to turn down the sound... the soundtrack sounds a bit like something that might accompany a different type of online video - NOT a brilliant choice I say...)
(This mini-blog defense assumes that the reader has already enjoyed the previous post "The Tuna Wail". If you have not, you may want to scroll down and peruse that prior to reading this!)
I have just gotten off of the phone with Frank's grandmother who announced that she was tempted to report me to the ASPCA because it was so mean to keep Frank waiting for his tuna as he cried - which made me realize that I had not been clear at all! At the time of the Tuna Wail Frank had ALREADY fully enjoyed the contents of the can - he was simply staring at them with the dream that perhaps if he just hoped hard enough, a wee bit more tuna might appear....
As evidence I have posted this aerial view of the VERY clean cans of tuna taken before the cinematic capture of The Tuna Wail: The ASPCA indeed!
Is there anyone in the world who doesn't hate the realization after a long day of work, that a) you are starving, and that b) you have absolutely nothing to eat in the house?
Why yes, as a matter of fact there is!
The no food in the house situation is absolutely without a doubt one of Frank's favorite times. It means that upon a brisk arrival home and a dismayed search through various cupboards, drawers, and shelves, Frank's dad and I invariably emerge with a can or two of tuna fish.
Oh Frank. Delicious.
There is not much in this world that Frank enjoys more than a can of tuna fish, except for maybe fresh Copper River Salmon, but that is decidedly more of a financial investment and is also, fortunately, out of season.
Upon hearing the click of the can opener it takes Frank about .001 second flat to make it from any corner of the apartment to the kitchen. He is then allowed, with much delight in his heart, to lick the scrapings from the bottom of each individual tuna tin. What a lucky pug indeed!
Assuming that Frank was content with having just enjoyed a delicious treat of not one, but three cans of tuna tidbits (not to mention having cleaned them out very nicely for recycling), I turned my back on him to commence with the preparation of the human version of the evening meal. Quite suddenly my ears were confronted with perhaps the most pathetic noise that I have ever heard coming from a creature not on Animal Planet.
I now present to you, hot on the tail of the Ham Snort, The Tuna Wail...
Oh Frank. If only we could all be so focused on the things we most desire. And no, I do not condone what could become a quite unfortunate behavior - at least not after I have captured it for the enjoyment of Frank fans everywhere...
(I particularly enjoy the mini squeak when he first turns his pleading eyes to the camera....)