Before I left for the trip, I found myself in my local petstore stockpiling food for the pets so my parents wouldn’t be stuck trying to figure out what they needed to buy. The dogs are easy, but Apollo’s been on the same venison diet for four years now, and they don’t always have a lot of it in the store.
So I’m in there, minding my own business, when I see one of the employees in an apron edging her way over. I try to avoid her eyes.
“Hi there,” she says, eyeing the 24 purple cans I’ve cleared from the shelves. “Have you ever tried Brand X?”
I sighed. I dislike those brand pushers to begin with, finding them hopelessly undereducated about anything except the talking points of the brand they are hired to sell. Second, I wasn’t asking for advice. I was clearly doing very well on my own and well on my way to spending money in the store, so I really just wanted to be left alone. Third, I don’t like Brand X for a number of reasons, and I wouldn’t buy it even if Apollo was ok to eat it.
But I just shook my head. “My cat has allergies.”
She cocked her head. “Our foods are also allergy-free. What’s your cat allergic to?”
“Chicken.” Plus fish, and turkey, and a couple other things I discovered after doing a full-bore elimination diet and challenge, but I didn’t feel like going into it because I was kind of in a rush.
But she was undaunted despite my turning away from her. “Well then, you need to learn to read labels and find one without chicken.”
And something about someone coming up to me uninvited in a pet food store and telling me I need to learn to read labels just kind of rubbed me the wrong way, because despite it being ok advice, I didn’t want or need it.
So I snapped, “He’s also allergic to fish and turkey. Got a diet without turkey, fish, OR chicken?” Which of course they didn’t. “He’s actually allergic to all of that?” she asked, incredulously.
To which I replied in front of the rest of the store, “Yes. I’m a veterinarian and I know all about nutrition and label reading, which is why I don’t buy your brand.” Then I walked away.
Boy, I get crabby sometimes.
Photo Credit: “Annoyed” by daphne31 on Flickr