Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Truck and the Biscuit Hut

Far and away, Baxter's favorite vehicle is our little pickup truck. It was the first vehicle Baxter ever rode in -- the day we got him he claimed the extended cab area behind the seats as his own, and his puppy hairs have been woven into the upholstery ever since.

Another reason Bax loves the truck is because he is one of us. There is no gate separating him from the alpha male and female in the front seats. (After a couple of scary events with Baxter climbing into the driver's seat of the Subaru as we were driving, we decided to invest in one of those doggy gates that keeps him in the back.) Of course, while he still loves to go for a ride in the car and wouldn't turn down an opportunity for a spin in the Subaru, the truck enables him to sit on the floor in the back and lean into the front seat in such a way that he's almost in line with us. This is enough for him. In the truck, he never attempts to get into the front seat.

But far and away, the main reason Baxter loves the truck is because he has unfettered access to the side window (well, almost unfettered...over the driver's shoulder) through which he can put on his best "please may I have a biscuit, I'm starving" face for the sweet young gals who work at the local drive-through coffee hut. This strategy is a slam-dunk for Bax. Trouble is, he now recognizes any sort of small hut with windows as a potential biscuit opportunity and starts whining. It doesn't take much to convince us to stop for a latte. However he also does this at toll booths, drive-through banks and, as we learned yesterday, the DMV (I don't think the biscuit-free vehicle emissions testing guy appreciated Baxter's enthusiasm).

We have run into a snag, however. Baxter's holistic vet has put him on a grain-free diet for his allergies, which means no Milk Bones or other such treats from what has become known as the "biscuit hut." Here's where our true colors as dog parents shine through. For us, maintaining the mythical status of the biscuit hut is rather like Santa Claus for parents of human children. We now pack special grain-free biscuits in the car so when he gets to the drive-through, we can hand one to the barista to give to him. I know, it's kind of pathetic. But the baristas (most of them) seem to enjoy it and we know for sure that Baxter does. After all, he doesn't care where the biscuit comes from. And we get to enjoy our lattes without a side of guilt.

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