Your typical Fight Club Sandwich throwdown pits one thingie against another thingie. You know: cupcakes. Hot dogs. Designer beer in cans. Trouble is, when you're talking dog treats -- and today we're talking dog treats -- you need to bear in mind that given the choice between two treats, a dog is going to eat both of them and not betray an obvious preference for either. So rather than stack up one treat against another treat, in this FCS bout we evaluate one kind of treat, consumed by several dogs.
Without further ado...
The Treat Bone-shaped biscuits from Lubeley's Bakery and Deli (7815 Watson Road, Shrewsbury; 314-961-7160). Retail price $1.59 for a bag of six. According to Mr. Lubeley, the main ingredients are whole-wheat flour, soy bacon bits and chicken broth. Note: The treats tend to sell out each day, so pick them up early.
Panel of Testers Steuben: A sixteen-pound fancy-pants pooch with a delicate digestive system Dale: An eighty-pound dog who's famous (he's featured on RFT fave blog One Hot Stove -- and he has been on Oprah!) Yma Sumac: a cat (control)
The Results: Who could possibly enter Lubeley's and not buy some people treats? Back in the car, however, Steuben climbs right over the mini lemon-meringue pie and the cinnamon bow tie and adheres his muzzle to the cellophane bag o' dog treats.
Once home, he keeps his eyes glued to the bag on the mantel, offers to "shake" (unbidden), then rises up on his haunches to "sit pretty" (unbidden). When suck-up cuteness fails to produce a sufficient treatish payday, he alternates between barking insistently and looking pitiful. (This is significant, because as a rule, Steuben is not a beggar.)
Dale, an elder statesdog (he's a gray-muzzled twelve; Steuben's only two), is generally reserved about treats. As one might expect of veteran of daytime TV (and companion of a blogger whose métier is Indian cuisine), his palate is refined; he has been known to reject outright treats that do not meet his exacting standards. Lubeley's treats, however, induce stolid Dale to place his head in the lap of a perfect stranger and moan for seconds.
Although Steuben begs to differ, a Lubeley's bone is too big for one small dog to consume in a single sitting. The texture is decidedly un-dog-biscuit-like, more like a firm, whole-grain dinner roll, which makes it easy to tear off bite-size pieces. Even four days after purchase, the treats are soft enough to tear easily.
As for the feline control taster, when offered a morsel of a Lubeley's treat, Yma Sumac awakens with alacrity from her morning nap and devours it. She refuses to perform any tricks in return for seconds -- more a reflection of her catness than any dissatisfaction with the Lubeley's biscuit. In keeping with her genetics, she stares fixedly at her human companion until the latter is worn down. Having devoured a second helping, she attempts one more stare-down, then resumes her nap.
The Verdict: Excellent treats. No reports of postprandial flatulence.
Other testers confirm initial findings: Gertybean, Cookie, Sadie, Shadow, Badger, Max, Luka, Lieutenant, Riley, and Simon.