Thursday, 23 January 2014

Dogs in the Street, Guys in the Park, Coconut in the Peanut Butter

This afternoon (ie. Wednesday), while the sun shone, Freddie and I spent time in and around Arbutus Walk, working on ignoring other dogs (ie. Just because you happen to spot another dog, Freddie, does not mean you get to pull/jump/play/bark/make me look like an ass and a crap dog trainer ... OK??). These exercises, leading up to the certification test that requires Freddie to ignore a passing dog, are his biggest challenge — but he did all right today. 

Rather than have him completely ignore other dogs (impossible), I'm trying to reward him for looking at me and remaining calm right after he spots a canine passerby. That way, seeing another dog still means getting a treat — just not the butt-sniffing, neck-biting, romping-in-the-mud kind!  

 Here's the kind of temptation Freddie finds especially hard to resist:
big, friendly, nice long tail for pulling ...

After loitering around the intersection of W. 11th and Arbutus, where dog traffic is very heavy, we took a break in the nearby park, where all the human traffic was of the guy persuasion ...

These two were having an amiable-sounding chat, and I liked the contrast in their duds.

The two guys power-washing the gazebo took a shine to Freddie, who took a shine to all the leaves and crap they were blowing around.

This guy was texting and laughing and eating a sandwich.

This guy was faster than he looked.

Now, this has nothing to do with dog training or guys in parks, but I just had to include it.

You see, I dig peanut butter — not the healthy, 100% peanuts, stir 'til your arm aches and store in the fridge kind of peanut butter. Nope. I like the sugary, oily, no need to refrigerate 'cause the preservatives will keep it edible (depending on your definition) 'til Judgment Day, Skippy/Kraft/Jif kind of peanut butter.

But I don't eat it. Every so often, I'll stand in the honey/jam/nut butter aisle, reading the label on a massive jar of national-brand PB on sale for $3.99, wanting to buy it ... but all the sugar and other garbage has such a powerful skull-and-crossbones effect that I (almost) always put it back and wistfully reach for the $12.99 regular-sized jar of organic roasted almond butter instead (cuz aren't peanuts supposed to be contaminated with some kind of fungus anyway?).

I've searched for healthier versions of that taste experience I love, without success ... until my most recent trip to London Drugs (of all places)!

There it was: "Earth Balance" creamy coconut & peanut spread!!

This stuff is not perfect (and I really doubt it helps to balance the earth in any way, even if I recycle the plastic container). BUT ... the first item on the impressively short ingredient list is peanuts, and the second one is COCONUT OIL. Food of the gods! The sweetener is agave syrup — yes, sugar in sheep's clothing, but the quantity per portion is pretty small compared to the glucose/dextrose/comatose count of Skippy et al.

In short, I bought it ... I ate it ... it was good. :)

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