When Rachel Liu first adopted her small terrier, Iggy, she adored his good manners and docile personality. But she didn’t expect that, despite Iggy’s perfect lap dog size, he doesn’t really like being held or touched for too long. Fortunately, Rachel—an engineer by trade—is not one to back down from problems. Instead, she launched into devising a practical solution.
Rachel simply adopted a strategy from her dog-training manual and scaled it up! She set out to methodically coat her entire body in cheese to attract Iggy’s attention and make an otherwise unwanted experience become desirable for the dog. She explains, “I figured, if it works for his pills, it’ll work for me as well.”
It was an innovative stroke of genius. But just like any engineering project, the process to the finish line was full of stumbling blocks. Rachel had to first identify a cheese that was tacky enough to manipulate and stick to her entire body. Goat cheese would have been an obvious choice, but she didn’t want to break the bank for this prototype. In the end, she decided on American cheese, whose highly processed consistency would be malleable, affordable, and tasty. Though, admittedly, Iggy’s palate is not quite refined enough to be a heavy factor here—he does, after all, eat literal shit on a regular basis.
To ensure she had enough cheese slices on hand for thorough enough coverage, Rachel committed to a cheese budget of $200. Then she had to unwrap each individual Kraft single, which was no small task. In total, Rachel’s plan took seven hours to fully execute. When all was said and done, she looked like a lumpy, orange Michelin man, which to Iggy, was supremely more appealing than Rachel’s baseline form. When Iggy made a beeline for her cheese-coated left shin, Rachel knew her effort was an immediate success.
“We can all learn a thing or two about parenting from Rachel,” offers Rachel’s close friend Diana. “I don’t have any dogs myself, but I think I’m ready to use her technique on my human step-children. They really haven’t warmed up to me at all. But they love cheese.”
As for Rachel, she’s proud of her feat of engineering, but she believes she can make improvements on the original. For Version 2.0, she has an eye toward ricotta or perhaps a soft mozzarella.