I knew this was going to happen.

I have spent the day talking to a brewer who succeeded against what appeared to be overwhelming odds, another brewer who was more worried about his colleagues’ beer samples he was carrying than his own welfare when he was in an automobile accident and getting the story behind the story about a potential brewery scandal here in the Philadelphia region.

All good things for a professional beer writer to be doing.

And yet, taking the longer view, I once again reach the inevitable conclusion: my struggle for supremacy with the dog creature known as HMB is the great story in my life at present.

Today’s installment: Way back when HMB arrived on the scene (a year ago next month), I knew that he had an allergic skin condition. A lot of time, effort and money has been expended into dealing with that, to point where, a couple of months ago, I would have told you that I figured we had it as under control as it was going to get.

In recent weeks, the struggle has gotten more difficult. I’m not sure yet, but I think this has to do with my relaxing the rules and allowing him to accept treats at the bank drive-in window, the drug store drive-in window and other places where his innate cuteness causes people to want to reward him. He really enjoys this—thinks it is only his due, to be truthful—and I don’t want to crush his spirit.

So today, god help me, when I went to the bank to make a deposit, I squirreled away one of his approved  treat biscuits in my pocket. He caught the scent faintly and prowled around the back seat anxiously, but didn’t go absolutely crazy. When I got the window, I passed in the biscuit along with my deposit and asked the teller to overcome her need to make him love her and substitute it for the doggie bone she would normally add to the returning deposit slip. She did that, I make sure she got full credit and we were on our way.

So, summing up: my life is now reduced to tricking or out-smarting my dog.

And people wonder why I drink.



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