Trouble Brother Treat Challenge

Our resident Trouble Brothers, Roscoe and Typhoon, are best pals. In fact, they are the bestest buddies ever. They play together, sleep together, and pick on each other endlessly. But trouble is brewing for the Trouble Brothers over treats.

Roscoe and Typhoon: Bestest Buddies - trouble brother treat challenge
Roscoe and Typhoon: Bestest Buddies

A friendly, loving, snuggly big lug, Roscoe can be a bit rambunctious when meeting other dogs on the trails. To emphasize proper walking etiquette, Hu-Dad rewards Roscoe with a treat whenever he passes another canine without a commotion.

Unfortunately, Roscoe and the Hu-Dad disagree on the definition of “without a commotion.” If breaking out into a dance routine worthy of a Broadway show finale is forbidden (and Hu-Dad says it is), what about a restrained jig? If howling and singing break the rules, what about a simple woo of hello? If the other dog speaks first, is a reply a violation or acceptable etiquette?

The negotiations are intense. Stamping of feety-feet and woos of protest follows any unfavorable ruling. When Roscoe wins the debate, the other dogs crowd around for their fair share.

Yes, Roscoe has become the Chief Treat Negotiator for the Siberian Husky Union. He takes the role seriously by asking the hard questions.

If a treat comes for passing another dog, what happens if the dog isn’t on the trail but is in their yard, or on their deck, or inside the house looking out? If a yard sometimes has a dog but he isn’t in sight, is a treat still coming?

What about passing a human on the trail who normally has a dog, but doesn’t today? After all, if they smell of a dog, surely that qualifies. If a human doesn’t have a dog in their life but once petted a dog, are they considered “with dog?”

Roscoe takes his treat monitoring job seriously - trouble brother treat challenge
Roscoe takes his treat monitoring job seriously

While Roscoe’s treat addiction soars, His Royal Highness Little Prince Typhoon Phooey often declines treats even when offered. Because of years-long suffering from a challenging digestive system, he often skips meals, too. This is more than typical finickiness, but a medical condition that can frustrate and even be life-threatening.

Over the years, we’ve tried nearly every diet. The humans have cooked for him, bought expensive foods, tried raw, even grilled him steaks. When he doesn’t feel well, he turns them all down. Many of the foods contain allergens he can’t tolerate, so they can actually make things worse.

After endless tests and efforts, we’ve found a balance with a specialized diet of hydrolyzed proteins enhanced with a pharmaceutical routine. It works most of the time, but even with all that, he sometimes quits eating. When those times hit, the humans go to crazy lengths to get sufficient calories in him.

The last couple of weeks have been one of those difficult periods for the Little Curmudgeon. Convincing him to eat even a single meal can take hours, even with appetite enhancing meds. We’ve been through these down stretches so often that Hu-Dad knows to look for opportunities throughout the day that indicate a willingness to eat a little bit.

One of those moments happens during walks. The theory is the movement massages his digestive track and creates hunger (and relieves excesses gases). Waiting until we return to the house doesn’t work, because that hunger sensation can pass as soon as he lies down. Thus, if Typhoon looks at the Hu-Dad hungrily during a walk, he gets treats. (The treats we carry, but the way, are actually Typhoon’s hydrolyzed proteins. We all enjoy them and Typhoon eats something that doesn’t spur his allergies.)

Why are we discussing my digestion publicly again? - Trouble brother treat challenge
Why are we discussing my digestion publicly again?

So we have the bestest buddies ever, but with totally different appetites. Typhoon struggles to eat enough calories to maintain his weight, which is still several pounds below his ideal weight. Roscoe, on the other paw, could eat a dozen meals a day and must watch his caloric intake. Hu-Dad has threatened to introduce him to the infamous green bean diet.

(For those unfamiliar, Qannik was on a perpetual green bean diet. He, like Roscoe, adored food and didn’t know when to quit. Adding unsalted green beans to meals provides the bulk needed to satisfy hunger pangs without all the calories in the foods dogs eat.)

So when Typhoon is in one of his challenging periods, he is offered extra treats on the trail while Roscoe is denied treats for his successful passing of a yard that once contained a dog but the family moved two years ago (Yeah, Roscoe and the Hu-Dad have had that debate).

To avoid Roscoe’s attention, Hu-Dad attempts to sneak treats to Typhoon when Roscoe isn’t looking. Roscoe has caught on to the stunt, which means he has to monitor for treat treating treaty transgressions (Hey, Hu-Dad worked hard for that one).

Are you sneaking treats again? - Trouble brother treat challenge
Are you sneaking treats again?

Our walks have become a comedic routine. Roscoe walks in front, monitoring both the wildlife and the treat bag behind him. Typhoon walks beside the Hu-Dad looking up adoringly, which, trust us, occurs only when Typhoon wants something. Hu-Dad attempts to offer treats to Typhoon on the sly. Poor Roscoe keeps glancing over his shoulder to catch such violations.

We watch Roscoe’s head-swiveling process as he thinks.

Look at that squirrel in a tree.

Glance over shoulder. Is Typhoon chewing?

Movement catches Roscoe’s attention. Oh, a rabbit behind a bush.

Look back to Hu-Dad. Was Hu-Dad’s hand in the treat bag?

Scanning the horizon. I don’t think I’ve watered that tree in the last few walks.

Glare back behind him. I know treating is happening without my share.

Fortunately, the sneaky treats and other measures seem to have worked. Typhoon stabilized again and is eating his meals with only minimal complaint. Roscoe, however, remains suspicious.

Don't even think about brushing me. - trouble brother treat challenge
Don’t even think about brushing me.


  1. TerryG on November 8, 2023 at 8:31 am

    Hahaha! Such fun images of your walks😆
    I am only dealing with 1 Siberian treat monster!
    Just like cousin Roscoe, my husky girl is always trying to make sure she is rewarded for every hint of the desired behavior ❤️ Thanks for the update 🤗

  2. Patty Markiewicz on November 7, 2023 at 10:52 pm

    I love the part what constitutes as passing a “dog!” That is too funny!
    You keep dancing that jig, Roscoe, and make sure Hu-dad gets that treat to you…just like you trained him to do. lol

  3. S Deaver on November 7, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Our current foster (to be foster failure) is on Royal Canin hydrolized protein diet for meals & treats, but she also gets the occasional carrot bite or apple bite for a treat, and a shredded cheddar garnish on her dinner bowl. I’m surprised the Siberian Husky Union isn’t up in arms over a soy-based menu! Her fur coat is luxurious and beautiful, so no complaints from us!

  4. HokiePack on November 7, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    The pic of Ty’s face – that is a wall hanger ! Beautiful!

  5. Juno's mom on November 7, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    What a challenge Ty is. I’ve dealt with so many. Love gets us through it.

  6. Sea Wolf on November 7, 2023 at 8:13 am

    Poor Ty. But he is in the bestest home ever. Thanks for the morning laugh.

    • Jan Jasa on November 7, 2023 at 10:24 am

      Maybe you could try carrying some frozen green bean “snacks” for Roscoe? He thinks he’s getting a treat, but it’s healthy and low calorie!

  7. Jean Burkhardt on November 7, 2023 at 7:51 am

    I’m telling you Hu-Dad-I’m sure you have gotten VERY creative with those treats BUT Roscoe is no dummy(LOL). Our husky mix Bradley is also wanting food all the time and since he isn’t too slim I add green beans to his food too. Looks like a lot of food BUT very little calories!!!

  8. Debbie & Miss Ruby on November 7, 2023 at 7:28 am

    Oh Ty, having a tender tummy is not a fun thing. My Danny made it to 17 on tuna and turkey, so hang in there. Ruby might be deaf, but she sure does eat.

  9. Christina Agans on November 7, 2023 at 7:11 am

    Poor Little Prince!! Keep watching Roscoe vigilance is key!!

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