2008-05-14 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

Milk-Bone® celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. That's 700 in dog years. More than 7 billion Milk-Bone® biscuits were made last yearenough to wrap around the moon 23 times; or mark the distance from New York to Los Angeles 112 times; or cover every inch of Central Park 2.8 times. Your dog might be wondering why we humans would consider these silly stunts. Why waste so many yummy treats?

In the 1860s dog biscuits were accidentally invented in a London butcher shop. The store owner was experimenting with a new biscuit recipe which he thought turned out terrible. He tossed one to his dog who gobbled it right up so he remade them in the shape of a bone for customers' pups. They sold like mad.

Exactly a century ago the dog snack was introduced here when a baker on Manh attan's Lower East Side bought the British recipe. The F. H. Bennett Biscuit Company was established and began selling the treats under the name "Malatoid" which was changed to "Milk-Bone" around 1915 to reflect cow's milk as one of the ingredients. Nabisco acquired the company in 1931 and dominated the market as virtually the only pet biscuit manufacturer until the late 1960s. Milk- Bone® became part of Kraft in 2002; then Del Monte in 2006.

On and off since 1922 and presently the factory in Buffalo has been the Milk-Bone® capital of the universe. Today the plant produces over 30 varieties, including gravy bones and filet mignon flavor, for dogs of all ages and sizes. It's only right that our canine campadres grace the cover of the box. The breeds most often featured have been Boston Terriers, Beagles and Collies. Peanut's Snoopy appeared on the carton twice.

To commemorate 100 years of bringing joy to dogs and pet parents, Milk-Bone® launched the "Make a Milk-Bone Moment"™ contest. Until the 9/18/08 deadline, anyone can enter a digital photo of their pooch at www.milkbone.com. The top 100 Milk-Bone Moments™ will be posted on the website, and America will vote to choose the $100,000 grand prize winning 100th anniversary SpokesDog. (The 99 runners up will receive digital cameras.)

In addition Milk-Bone® will donate more than $1 million to provide 108 dogs- 37 canine assistant dogs and 71 police dogs- via the Milk-Bone® Canine Heroes Program™ as well as give away more than $1 million in product to assist other service dog organizations. Since the program's inception in 1997, Milk-Bone® has sponsored training for 320 canine assistants and 470 law enforcement K-9s.

The centennial celebration is traveling to 14 US cities. Next stop -the Big Apple. On Wed. 5/21 from noon to 3pm at Military Island in Times Square Milk-Bone® will attempt to build the world's largest dog house- 18 feet high- with the help of 100,000 dog biscuits. People and pups are invited to the event where they can also meet doggy dancers, paw readers, caricature artists, and the mystery celebrity who will present the $1 million check to the Milk-Bone® Canine Heroes Program™. As icing on the cake, the Food Network will be creating a special occasion dessert that promises to have everyone drooling.

Sit. Give me your paw. Beg. Our dogs wolf down more than 68,000 tons of Milk-Bones® each year. To put that in perspective- one year's worth of biscuits is equivalent to the weight of 17,000 full grown elephants. Total treat consumption is 15,000 tons heavier than the Titanic. Gotta "sinking" feeling in your stomach? Think of it as merely "the tip of the iceberg" to our hungry hounds' howling for many more.

POST PETS POST PETS For Adoption at Oyster Bay Town Shelter: The dogs waiting at the Miller Ave. Syosset shelter would love to create Milk-Bone Moments™ with someone nice. "Rocky" #344 is a chubby Pointer mix who likes kids and other dogs. Meanwhile "Parker" #121 is a large, gray tabby who vocalizes his desire to find a home. Call Oyster Bay Shelter at 677-5784 top meet "Rocky", "Parker" or their pals: an English Pointer # 343; "Buddy" #340- a Shih-tzu who seems to prefer women; a wire-haired Terrier mix #342; "Spackle" #207- another Paul Bunyan-sized cat in the lobby; kittens too.

Unique Breed Rescue Site: "Special Needs Dobermans" (SND) a national online fund is dedicated to helping senior Dobermans plus Dobies of all ages with extraordinary medical expenses- whether the dog is in a rescue group, foster home or owned by a loving family. SND is different because most purebred rescues, actually most humane organizations, do not assist owned pets. SND had a record year in 2007-disbursing over $80,000 in financial aid to 109 Dobermans across the US. Many of these Dobies would have been euthanized or surrendered to shelters because their families or rescues wouldn't have been able to afford their veterinary care. Visit SND at www. doberman911.org to learn about their dogs in need or to participate in one of their EBay auctions.

Rocky, Pointer Mix, and Parker, gray tabby, awaiting homes this week Rocky, Pointer Mix, and Parker, gray tabby, awaiting homes this week Readers can write to Joanne Anderson c/o Massapequa Post, 1045B Park Blvd., Massapequa Park NY 11702, or via email at acjnews@rcn.com

Readers can write to Joanne Anderson at 65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon NY 11702, or via email at acjnews@rcn. com

POST PETS POST PETS Yellow lab and Johnson Jr., tiny tuxedo kitten await homes this week. Yellow lab and Johnson Jr., tiny tuxedo kitten await homes this week.

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