06 April 2012 11:14

I am going to tell you a surreal tale about a man named Joe and some dogs.
Joe is involved in helping to feed hundreds of dogs. In order to make their cans of dog food go further and provide extra nutrition, it is mixed with pasta.
It happens that the dogs’ preferred choice of pasta is macaroni.
What Joe does is he cashes bonus points at different supermarkets for food vouchers which he uses to satisfy the dogs’ Italian tastes.
The other night, a few of us had collected at his house and ended up having a sort of midnight feast.
We all were chit chatting about what we had been up to. Joe’s offering went something like this:
It was time to cash in a heap of accrued points for ‘doggy vouchers’. He went to the large flagship branch of a supermarket and headed to the customer help desk.
Here he asked the man on duty for help getting some macaroni together.
‘How much would you like?” the man asked.
“I’d like €360 worth please,” Joe replied.
“Sorry – you – pardon? Three hundred and…,” the flabbergasted man said. Then regaining his professional composure: “Fine. I just need to check the stock.”
What followed was the commandeering of whatever was on the supermarket shelves plus a good deal of what was behind the scenes.
“How did you get it all to your car?” one of us asked.
“Well, we needed four trolleys. Three staff members helped.”
“How did you FIT it all in your car?”
“I filled up the boot and the back and front seat. I couldn’t see anything with my rear view mirror.”
While Joe, an unassuming, elegant and well-spoken man, recounted this story as though he were repeating the weather forecast he had heard that morning, he didn’t seem to understand why we were all rolling around the floor gassing ourselves.
I mean…Joe at the supermarket matter of factly clearing out their macaroni stock for the next six years; Joe doggedly (no pun intended) forging ahead across the supermarket parking lot with three staff members dutifully trailing behind wondering privately who this insane Englishman was with his four overloaded shopping trolleys of cut-price macaroni; Joe driving the stash to the dogs, unable to see anything because his vehicle was packed to the hilt with bags of macaroni cascading everywhere whenever he hit a roundabout or a sharp bend (I couldn’t shake this image even when Joe told me the bags were, in fact, all safely boxed up).
I’m not making fun of you Joe. I told you I was going to write something about this because, as you rightly pointed out, it is important to publicise what it is for.
Joe was cashing in bonus points for the Paphiakos and CCP Animal Welfare food scheme for the scores of animals at its shelter.
Many people want to help out at an animal charity but perhaps don’t have the time. One way of providing some very important help is by donating supermarket bonus points.
Paphiakos has a bonus card at five different stores across Cyprus. To add points, the customer simply quotes Paphiakos’ phone number at the checkout.
Full details are on the Paphiakos website under the ‘Help’ link at: www.cyprusanimalwelfare.org.
As Joe’s account demonstrates, the points add up and make a difference.
Please just have mercy on the Italian food lovers of Paphos and don’t clear out the pasta department.