Before I get too far into this post, let me assure you that there have been no choking incidents, our home is relatively safe having successfully raised three boys, and is now puppy-proofed for the most part!
But, over the last month of having a yellow lab puppy as a new addition to our family, I have noticed that dogs eat a lot of strange things. This is an observation fairly new to me as we’ve always had cats as pets. Cats, themselves, eat strange things – like their own vomit, or vomit of other felines. I always discouraged that if I was around to see it but sometimes I would find a remnant stain signifying the ingestion of the result of former indigestion. Gross!
But, as I have assumed more care of our puppy, I have noted the strange things she puts in her mouth. Most, are things I expected, such as lumps of fresh-cut grass, and dirt. Toys, and the hands of humans, as well as their shoes, are included in the not so surprising list.
However, yesterday on a walk, I noticed that Molly was chewing on something she had picked up in the grass. Upon closer inspection, I noticed it was a dehydrated, dead frog or toad! Yuck! I was able to extract it from her mouth and thew it several feet away. Well, all you dog owners know what came next, she thought I was playing and bounded off after her tasty dead amphibious treat! She kept finding where I disposed of it until I finally wrapped it up in a piece of tissue and stored it in my pocket until we returned to the garage!
As a nurse, I saw a lot of unpleasant things – blood, guts, wounds that could be described as gore, and nasty rashes. One of the grossest things I ever witnessed was maggots in the decubiti of an elderly patient I had in nursing school. Yes. Fly maggots! They were supposed to be there to debride the deep wounds but nothing could have prepared me for that sight! Mucous also really bothered me, especially if it was copious and coming out of a tracheostomy. Surprisingly, blood never really bothered me that much. And, the other unpleasantries I mentioned above never kept me from doing my job – it was part of taking care of the patients and something one expected as a nurse.
So, now I’ve learned that there are things you have to expect when you are a dog owner. They eat or want to eat almost anything – living, dead, food, or excrement – if they see or smell it, they will want to eat it. Despite the grossness of attempting to eat a dehydrated amphibian, it did not worry me that Molly had this creature in her mouth. More worrisome are all the mushrooms that keep popping up in our yard and I cannot identify as to whether they are poisonous. I definitely steer her clear of those. I also worry about things that pose a choking hazard.
This was the case the other day when she emerged from my youngest son’s bedroom with a pencil hanging out of her mouth! His room is filled with art supplies that are not so neatly organized and often end up on the floor. I am sure this is where he found the random pencil that looked like a nice stick upon which to chew! Wrestling it away from the dog took quite a few minutes. Then, there has been the random candy wrapper or trouser sock that was stuffed all the way in her mouth this morning.
I can see that being a puppy owner is akin to being the parent of a toddler. They are always busy, always into feeding their curiosity and need to chew. Keeping them safe and satisfied is our job. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun – MOST of the time! I can really do without the frog-eating, though!
Have you ever had a puppy? Share your funny or concerning eating experiences below in the comments! Thanks! And, enjoy your Saturday!