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The Dutchie Revealed
11.17.2003 by Sarah.

[Author's Note: My most sincerest apologies (and not merely my half-hearted ones) go to you, my dear readers, for the inconsistency that has marked this column of late. I have been sucked into the deepest bowels of the theatre in search of ephemeral glory, and as a result, I have been remiss in my writing duties. Henceforth Cocktail Conspiracies shall appear, like proverbial clockwork, every Friday.

As it is, I found myself at Copacabana last Saturday night with my fellow cast and crew to celebrate the successful press preview of our show. Who should inexplicably join the fun but our Heroine? As she downed a pitcher of Boreale Rousse, which I had paid for, I mentioned how happy I was to be able to resume a normal feeding schedule after subsisting for two straight weeks on Tim Hortons coffee and bagels. She looked up, alarmed, wiped her mouth on her toga, and recounted this chilling tale of animal brutality, the retelling of which will certainly earn me a nasty letter from the executives of the chain.]

I do not expect you to know this, since you are American, after all, but the Tim Hortons chain of shops providing coffee and baked foodstuffs cannot be trusted to look after your pets, should you go away on holiday to the Tropics, or even France. Alright, maybe your cat would be ok in the hands of this Canadian franchise, and maybe your hamster, but definitely not your dog. You see, Tim Horton, famed hockey player for the Maple Leafs and genius behind what is now as much a symbol of Canada as the red and white flag, had a little secret. He liked to eat puppy dogs.

So what, you may ask. So what if he likes the taste of canine flesh? He would not be the first. In general, I think people should be allowed to enjoy their little fetishes, so long as the rest of us aren't involved. For example, no one cares about that weird thing you do with ferrets and cream cheese, right? As long as you do not make me party to your sick little games, I have no problem with it.

But Tim Horton. He made it the problem of the nation.

When he opened his first store in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1964, Tim Horton offered his public traditional fresh-brewed coffee and donuts, along with two original products: the Apple Fritter and the Dutchie. As the chain grew, and new products added, these two creations remained staples of the Tim Hortons menu across the plains and lakes of Canada. In some places in Ontario, you can pull up to a drive-thru window and say "Gimme a Dutchie" or "Je voudrais un Dutchie, s'il vous plait" and in a trice you'd have an oven-fresh baked good. And you would have no idea...

Dutchie, after all, is the name affectionately given to the Dutch Shepard Dog by owners and enthusiasts alike. Throughout North America there are many Dutchie fan clubs and organizations devoted to the breed. The Dutchie is also the main ingredient of the Tim Hortons specialty of the same name. Just as a Porkwich features pork, the Dutchie features Dutchie dogs--tender baby dogs mixed into the batter, adding that special something that has drawn rave reviews for decades.

Since the sixties, other Canadian companies in the know have used household pets to spice up their products. Recently it was discovered that one rendering plant in Quebec processed 11 tons of cats and dogs per week for sale to pet food companies. The animals hailed from Ontario. Earlier this month, a Capital Health Authority agent from Edmonton, Alberta declared an Asian restaurant known as the Panda Kitchen within its legal rights to use the dog meat found in its freezers as long as federal regulators first inspected it.

Although Tim Hortons claims not to use animal by-products in its baked goods, the company says nothing about using the animal itself. I can only assume that Mr. Horton felt shamefaced enough about his covert habit to hide it from the public. Perhaps he had plans to reveal the truth about the Dutchie once he had the nation hooked on the baked good so that sudden knowledge of the product's foul ingredients would be overshadowed by the public's primal need for the product itself. I suspect that an aborted attempt was made in the 1980s when the band Musical Youth came out with the hit song "Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side."

On a final note, it has been mentioned by others before me that the ever-popular product known as Timbits appeared on the shelves in the same year that Tim Horton himself died in a car crash--in which he was smashed to bits. Food for thought, as they say.

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