Sunday, February 09, 2014

Beer for dogs, and The Dutch

This has been one of the 10 most e-mailed stories on the Courier & Press Web site for the last couple of days.

By Jacob Bennett

When I get home after a rugged, sweaty day in the cubicle, there are two things I want around me: my trusty dog and an ice cold brew.

I want the dog there because it never lets me down in its cheerful ability to make everything better. I want the beer there for pretty much the same reason.

Despite that, one thing I've never done - mostly because I don't like to share - is get a beer for my dog.

But now I can, without the unpleasant side effect of instant doggie death.

A Dutch pet shop owner is marketing Kwispelbier, a nonalcoholic drink billed "as beer for your best friend." The BBC and The Associated Press reported Kwispelbier is fit for human consumption, but forget that. The meat-based brew costs four times as much as a Heineken (and probably doesn't taste any worse).

"Kwispel," by the way, is the Dutch word for wagging a tail. The seller told reporters she wanted her dogs to share light refreshments with her after a day's hunting.

I went to the Kwispelbier Web site to find out more about it, and this is what I discovered:

"Kwispelbier het bier voor je beste vriend. Ja Hondenbier vanaf 18 januari in Nederland. Door ons Dierenspeciaalzaak Molenkamp ontwikkelt en door een echte brouwerij gebrouwen. Klik hier en lees er alles over."

Fair enough. But I'm not sold.

I understand the urge to have a cold one with your dog. Mine is so happy when I get home, hopping around and pawing at my leg. Who else has ever been that happy to see me after I've been gone a few hours (or a few seconds because I had to run out to the car)?

Honestly, I like animals better than most people. It broke my heart when I read about them putting poor Barbaro to sleep. When I read that they let him have his oats first, I was afraid I was going to have to dab my tears with my skirt.

One of my friends was mad because he thinks Barbaro had been kept alive so long only because his owners were hoping to sell his stud services. But if ever there was a job worth staying alive for, stud is probably it.

My weepiness was pushing it, of course: Maxim magazine said the only time it's acceptable for a man to cry is when he's watching a movie where a heroic dog dies while trying to save its master.

I'll drink to that. But I still don't think I'd give my dog beer, especially expensive beer. What's next? Beer-colored water for fish to swim in? Extra-strong cat beer so they will give you affection (kinda like college)? Ferret beer?

I hope not, because those little suckers are mean drunks.

And the next time this old man comes rolling home, I think I'll just give my dog a bone.