The spirit of “Christmas in August” descended on the Schuylkill River Dog Park in Philadelphia last Sunday. Santa Paws came down from her North Pole Cookie Kitchen, dressed in her best summer shirt and shorts super-secret disguise, to surprise a few lucky dogs and open the eyes of their bipedal buddies. The dogs got treats for having been good for the last eight months (If you celebrate Christmas once per human year, think of how many dog years that must be!) and the humans got to learn about My Doggy Soft-Baked Cookies. For her part in this give and take, Santa Paws got some valuable feedback related to a new flavor, No Wheat Gingerbread, that we’re preparing to pack in our annual Holiday Stocking Stuffer package. But first, before they can be included in anything, these chewy, spicy, richly colored gingerbread cookies had to earn their Paw of Approval.
Preliminary tests were encouraging. The first tester (code name: Moose) loved his cookie. It was gone in an instant. His eager sniffing and longing looks as he searched for more, not to mention the Pavlovian puddle of saliva that was dripping from his mouth and pooling on the floor (who needs words, when you have that?), indicated to us that he would put his Paw of Approval on every cookie he could get. Unfortunately for Moose, the rest of the cookies were earmarked for other taste testers to try.
That’s when Santa Paws and her little elf helper grabbed their big bag of treats, loaded up the sleigh, and flew off to the dog park. Clutching clipboards, they sought out a scientifically valid sample size of suitable subjects and got down to doing the dirty work of data gathering. Overall, over 85% of those taking the taste test responded positively. Every dog that tasted the treat swallowed it with relish. (Where they got the relish, we’ll never know.) The only dogs that didn’t go whole hog wild turned up their noses and turned down the cookies, not even giving a nibble. Not every flavor can be as popular as Peanut Butter, which these dog’s embarrassed owners told us would have caused a major munch-fest.
Most of the dogs gave the Gingerbread cookies a full body-wag and, like Moose, didn’t want to stop at just one. One particular tester couldn’t wait to be handed another. Who knows how many he ate before being discovered with his head half buried in the big bag? (Pictured at right.) Another tester (codename: Flash Mouth) liked her first taste so much that she intercepted a second one that was intended for her friend. (Rest assured, friends, the more mild-mannered approver got the treat eventually — after the interceptor was ushered safely out of range.)
All in all, the new No Wheat Gingerbread cookies proved enormously popular with the dogs in the park — and probably more so with the people. Several people commented on the cookie’s “yummy” smell (Take that, you little dogs who turned up your noses!) and approved of its easy-to-break but not crumbly texture. Many also expressed their relief and appreciation when informed that Gingerbread and several of My Doggy’s other flavors are free of wheat and corn, while all are made with all-natural ingredients.
Bottom Line: Gingerbread earned its Paw of Approval at the park on Sunday, so this probably won’t be the last you ever hear about this new flavor. A few lucky dogs will see (and smell, and taste) Gingerbread treats with their season’s greetings this year. A few others, thanks to their owners’ new awareness of My Doggy Soft-Baked Cookies, will probably be treated to one of the other flavors even sooner.