I’m sure most of you have suffered through the puppy phase where they will basically chew on anything that they can get their mouth around. Of course there are the typical favorites like shoes and the legs of kitchen stairs. Our Australian Shepherd, Mittsy wasn’t much different in the early days. This chewing phase lasted about 8 months.
Even after the teething phase wore off, she would always find something new to chew on. We were only able to control what she had available to her by using pet gates to limit her access.
I have to believe that Mittsy’s stomach was stronger than most dogs, because many of the things that she wolfed down are considered very dangerous to the health of a dog.
Apparently chocolate is at the top of the dangerous list. Yet chocolate was always a favorite for Mittsy. She especially loved Easter time and would have her own Easter egg hunt looking for some misplaced chocolate items. It didn’t matter much whether there were wrappers on the chocolates, because they would simply become part of the meal.
Oh yes, she would be ill the next day, but she would shake that off in no time and be back on the hunt soon after. I guess the short lived stomach pains were worth the taste treat.
Mittsy’s next favorite food was lipstick, the redder the better. Mittsy had mostly black fur, except for around her paws and face. Needless to say, it was real easy to spot when she had found a lipstick tube to chew on. Our daughters never seemed to learn, as they would always leave their lipstick somewhere that was easy access for Mittsy.
I don’t know how many times we had to try to remove red lipstick from our beige carpets. It would often take more than a few passes of the carpet cleaner to get it all out. The question for my wife and I was whether we should be trying to train Mittsy or our kids about the issues with lipstick and chocolate. Of course there is always the handy pet gate.
Our biggest surprise however, was yet to come.
Once a year, friends of ours host a long weekend get together at their summer cottage. Several families are invited and pets are included. Its a favorite weekend for our family and we look forward to it as soon as Spring arrives.
The majority of this infamous weekend was absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately, on the day we were to leave for home, Mittsy decided that she would need lots of food to tide her over on the four hour trip home. She searched high and low looking for any kind of eats she could find.
Her first find was the french loaf that we had been saving for that evening’s Italian feast. She managed to eat the whole loaf of bread before anyone caught her. You would think that this would fill her up, but oh no, not Mittsy.
At one point during the day, I had gone into the cottage to look for some water toys for the kids. As I passed by the kitchen window overlooking the back yard of the cottage, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Mittsy was chowing down in the cottage compost heap.
I managed to chase her away from her compost delight, but within half an hour or so, Mittsy became very ill. Every breath from her mouth was steaming in the air, even though it was a 90 degree day.
It would be four hours before we got back to civilization, and we thought by starting the trek as soon as possible, we could get Mittsy to a vet before nightfall. We finsihed packing the car, said our goodbyes and headed out.
She was sick at least a half dozen times before we got home. It was the most unpleasant trip our family has ever experienced.
By the time we got home, Mittsy had somehow totally recovered and as soon as we opened the car door, she was off on a run wanting to play in the yard. She was off her normal diet for a couple of days, but no more than that.
We kept her water bowl filled with fresh water, and watched her closely, but there were no obvious health related danger signs. Mittsy would look us in the eye with what seemed like a smile on her face. I’m sure if she could talk she would have said something like “ I told you I could eat anything”. All we could do was to marvel at the dog with the cast iron stomach.
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15 January 2013 Last updated at 10:40 ET By Chris Dearden BBC Wales News One of the best known gardens in Wales is allowing dogs inside for the first time. Bodnant Garden in the Conwy Valley has been in the hands of the National Trust since 1949. The 80-acre site has been open to the […]