Lorraina and the Chewy Box: An Unhealthy Relationship

Hi, I’m Allison! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my three mixed-breed dogs from Thailand, Jelly, Lorraina, and Manic.

Do you have a dog who loves treats? Most people would chuckle at that question and might respond with, “Is there oxygen in the air we breathe?” Of course, dogs love treats!

But do you have a dog who really loves treats? I do.

Lorraina is the type of dog who could forget all her troubles with a snack. She literally starts to shake with excitement when our Chewy delivery box of treats arrives every other month. I worry about what will happen in the winter if the roads get too icy for deliveries. If Lorraina senses a delay in her treats due to snowy weather, I imagine she would zip up her jacket, find a pair of doggy snow goggles, and tell me to suit up.

Lorraina might have an unhealthy relationship with the Chewy box.

Lorraina’s Relationship With Treats

Lorraina has always been a dog who loves her food. She used her cuteness and persistent staring to get me to make mealtimes earlier and earlier over the years. When we lived in Thailand, she loved treats at the same level as her step-siblings. But when we brought them to the US, we started using Chewy to have food, medicine, and treats delivered.

Our first home was a small island, and while there were several treat options available, it was nothing in comparison to what we could order at Chewy. Our treat box included soft duck jerky, chicken meatballs, dental chews, beef esophagus, water buffalo and pig ears, and pumpkin biscuits.

When the box of treats arrives, I imagine that Lorraina feels the same way as Charlie did when he walked into Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for the first time.

How I get their attention: treats!
Like her step-siblings, Lorraina has always been a big fan of treats.

Guarding the Chewy Box—With a Vengeance!

The first thing we do when the Chewy box arrives is give each dog something special. Usually, we opt for a small treat, like some jerky or a meatball. But Lorraina will stare intently into the box, taking survey of all the goods and eying Jelly and Manic to make sure they do not get anything extra. She is meticulous in her observations.

Now, normally, I put the treats in a large plastic tub with a lock top in the backroom, but sometimes I get lazy and just close the cardboard box and leave it in the living room. If I do this, Lorraina will stand right next to the box. I thought she was doing this as a way to coerce me into giving her a second snack. But mostly, she did it to guard it from the others.

After about 30 minutes of standing near the box, she lies down next to it and closes her eyes. But she does not sleep. She just wants Jelly and Manic to think she is; this is part of her security detail.

If Jelly walks into the living room, Lorraina will open her eyes and growl softly. She doesn’t even lift her head from the floor. Jelly will stop in her tracks. She is never that close to the Chewy box, maybe about 5 feet away, but for Lorraina, that was close enough. Jelly will walk away, and Lorraina will close her eyes again but remains vigilant.

Next came Manic. He will come in from playing outside, full of energy. He bounds into the living room—but a bit too quickly for Lorraina. If this happens, she will lift her head and emit a low growl. Just like Jelly, he will freeze and retreat away from the box.

And there she will remain, next to the box for as long as I leave it out there. Even if it is overnight.

Lorraina keeping a watchful eye on the Chewy box
Lorraina keeping a watchful eye on the Chewy box

A Love of Treats or Something Deeper?

While it might seem cute to have Lorraina guarding a horde of goods, I wonder if it is something deeper. Why does she guard those treats? Did she fear she would never get them again? Was she anxious about her environment? Most likely, I think it’s because she wants to prove she has control over something.

Lorraina is the smallest of the trio, and she knows it. Jelly has sometimes “kept her line” as a way to show she is the top dog. Jelly is the queen. Manic, who ranks at number three, has never tried to dominate Lorraina. But Lorraina depends on Manic’s size, strength, and fearlessness when they go out on adventures. He is the muscle.

Where does that leave Lorraina? Security detail. Even if she knows the other two will never attack her, guarding these treats gives her a sense of purpose within the trio despite her smaller size.

The muscle, the queen, and the security guard.


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