“ Brand: Bob Martin / Type: Food „
My spaniel boys will eat almost anything - and thoroughly enjoy it. They'll wolf down a scoop of cold mashed potato as quickly as they would scoff a big juicy sausage, so at Christmas we asked Santa Paws to bring them something special.
As a treat I'll often get them a pig's ear each - for anyone not familiar with this popular doggy snack, it's not an indelicate euphemism for a funny shaped biscuit or chew, it's simply as the name suggests - just a pig's ear (sometimes you'll even see little tiny prickly hairs on them!).
I bought this pack of Bob Martin ears with my Tesco Christmas delivery and a bag of eight stung me £5.99! Pound for pound, I could have got a big bit steak for a similar price and carved it up for a treat, but I knew from experience that while they'll love that, it wouldn't even touch the sides.
The bag boasts that they are 100% natural, are "chewy meaty treats" and are "free from artificial preservatives". They appear to have been dried and roasted and are rock hard. They are a toasted brown colour and come in irregular sizes some were as big as the span of my hand; others were the size of Baron Spanielmeister's own ear!
It suggests that you feed as a treat in-between meals and as with all dogs at all times to be sure that fresh drinking water is available.
The pack warns that the ears may stain carpets and floors and handling them I did get a kind of pork scratching-powdery residue on my hands. It was a bit unsavoury but didn't smell too vile - if you are used to dogs and their eating habits its fine, but I did feel the need to wash my hands immediately. For the most part our boys are outdoor dogs so they were served one each in the garden on Christmas morning.
Their reaction was incredible - Briar (the one in my profile pic) did a lap of honour around the garden holding his aloft in his mouth as if to say "look at me - look what I've got" - and they all took their as far away from each other as possible to avoid any accidental sharing.
It took them ages to eat an ear - when I say ages I mean about 30 seconds, as most treats just disappear. They had to hold on with their paws in order to break them up as they were eating and despite what the packet says they were definitely more crunchy than chewy. The main thing about the ears was that because they were so tough the boys had no choice but to eat them slower than most food, and therefore they could really savour and enjoy the taste. One of the boys, Zappa (named after Frank of course) actually "talked" to his, making all kinds of noises of doggy enjoyment, combined with an underlying warning growl to the others to keep away!
It gave us so much pleasure to see them enjoy their treat and their reaction- it was fun for us too.
As I have three dogs, a pack of eight was an odd number for sharing so I had to break up one of the larger ones to be sure everyone got their fair share. They got some more on Boxing Day and New Year's Eve so they could join in with the two-legged celebrations. Interestingly, they seemed satisfied with their long-lasting treat and didn't come straight back looking for more.
Last week, I had a bit of the post-Christmas blues and I thought the boys might feel it too, so I picked up a pack of three pigs ears from the pet section in the pound shop. They were completely lacking in the quality of Bob Martins, and the boys even needed to be encouraged to eat them.
So while these ears are expensive, I feel that they are definitely worth it for the pleasure that the boys (and we) got from them. They are great for a treat, but at the price it will be a very, very occasional treat.
Thanks for reading.