Something to Chew On

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday, but I love February 15 more. That’s when all the Valentine’s Day candy goes on sale!

Part of the fun on Valentine’s Day is scouting out the stores with the best boxes of chocolate. Then I simply unroll my sleeping bag and camp outside the store so I’ll be first in line the next morning. Pretty smart, eh? And pretty cold, too, because after all, it’s February.

The good thing is that all that effort works to my advantage. Well, except for last year when Odyssey had that big snowstorm and I woke up the next morning frozen to the sidewalk in my sleeping bag. That was kind of depressing, watching other shoppers hurry into the store to get all the best sweets.

By the time my sleeping bag thawed, the good candy was gone and the only treats left were those heart-shaped, leather dog chews in the pet aisle. Just for the record, while certain Odyssey pups might be crazy about those treats, I’m sure not. They’re made of 100 percent rawhide and are hard on the teeth! Although they cause fewer cavities than candy and have fewer calories than chocolate, they aren’t worth all the effort to chew one.

That’s why I decided to give the chew treats away to all the dogs on my mail route. Who knew that one act of kindness would be so life changing for me? Seeing the smiles on those little doggie faces and watching wet, sloppy drool slide down their chins while their tails wagged in anticipation totally warmed my heart.

That’s also what gave me the idea to start a new Day After Valentine’s Day tradition this year. I decided to share my 75 percent off savings with everyone on my mail route. For some reason it feels a little more rewarding to do something thoughtful for someone when it’s unexpected. That’s why I can’t wait to see everyone’s face tomorrow when I give out Day After Valentine’s Day treats with a note from me that says:

Valentine’s is over, and I know my gift is late.
It’s only day-old chocolate, so I’m sure it still tastes great!
I appreciate your friendship, and I think you’re really nice,
But I like to save on money, so I bought this at half-price.
I hope this little gift for you is something you’ll enjoy.
I know it really isn’t much, but it beats a dog chew toy.

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day!

This article first appeared in the February 2011 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2011 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.