Animal Treats


An old Cajun fiddle tune describes the thieving antics of two hounds named Hip and Taiau. (In French the phrase sounds like the cowboy refrain “hip-ay-ti-yo” that precedes “git along little doggie.” I suspect there’s a connection.) When my horse, Mac, and I moved to Southwest Louisiana, we met the real things.

Mac’s stable was home to four Dalmatians. Not surprisingly, they would pick up and carry off any delightfully smelly treasure: brushes, sponges, hoof clippings, and worse. I hadn’t expected them to be so fond of carrots too. But the first day I left a bag of Mac’s carrots unattended. I found only telltale shreds of plastic and chunks of carrots strewn about the aisle. I even caught one enterprising hound slipping behind me to steal the whole bag from Mac’s grooming kit.

With an animal, as with children, the best way to correct problem behavior is to find a positive replacement. So I hid the carrots and invested in a 10-pound bag of dog biscuits. But the dogs were penned up that day for a child’s birthday party, leaving my with a pocket full of treats. Mac, nosed them out, however, and immediately developed a taste for them.

That might be expected, since a check of the ingredients shows soy meal topping the list. Apparently that taste overwhelms the beef and bacon promised on the label. Still, it’s a typically Cajun quirk: the dogs eat the horse’s carrots, and the horse eats the dog’s biscuits.

(photo courtesy of Verena Matthew/