First, let me make this disclaimer.   I do not have a degree in ANYTHING, and I refuse to be responsible for whatever advice I dish out.   “Refuse to be responsible” is a euphemism for “I have nothing, so it is useless to sue me.”   Okay.   With that business taken care of, I am pleased to tell you that I have decided to implement a “Dear Red” component to my rants and raves to encourage my readers to throw caution to the wind and pour out their innermost pain, passions, pillow talks and problems to moi.    Faithful readers already are familiar with my words of wisdom and will not be surprised at this good fortune for those who seek help in these troubled times.   Here’s looking at you…

“Dear Red,

     I am a real fan of your blog and can’t tell you how much your insight means to me.   But, I’m afraid I have a big problem.   My Peeps are these two young chicks who are just the best ever – they really are.   They hug me and kiss me all the time and take me for walks and make sure I always have food and water.   But, here’s the problem.   They don’t understand the meaning of the word TREATS.   I mean, I NEVER get any.   Treats, that is.   No cookies, no chew sticks, no biscuits, no blueberry or apple crunchies, nothing, nada, zip, zero.   Please help me.   I’m a good golden retriever, and I deserve better!

                                     Yours truly,   Treat Deprived”

Dear Deprived,

     Of course you deserve better, and I am just the one to help you!   Sadly, yours is not an uncommon case for canines.   Peeps are very difficult to understand, and we try to give them the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.   However, a home with no dog treats is inexcusable in these days of wine and roses.   It is like pie a la mode without the a la mode.   It is like oreo cookies without the filling.   It is like eggs benedict without the benedict.   Etcetera.   Etcetera.   Etcetera.  

     I recommend an aggressive action plan beginning with reverse psychology.   Why should you get a treat if you are a “good dog?”   They don’t need to get you treats because you are ALREADY GOOD!   Don’t you see?   You must start acting like a BAD dog so that they will buy you treats to reward you when you are GOOD.   So, piss on a beloved rug.   Chew on a favorite chair.   Tear the stuffing out of a cherished cushion.   Slam into a coffee table and smash a picture.   Show a few teeth every once in a while.   Get yourself out of your Mr. Nice Guy routine, blondie, and step away from the hugs and kisses for a few days.   I guarantee you that they’ll RUSH to the grocery store to pick up a few goodies for you!   Get ready for the good life!

Well, let’s hope my little advice column brings comfort to any of you who are struggling.   Oh, and by the way, I learned a new word today from one of my favorite readers who is going to the mountains of North Carolina tomorrow to do something called zip-lining.   Please don’t go, don’t go, don’t go…but if you do, be sure someone in the group has a safety net.   That whole thing looks scary on so many levels.