Wednesday, April 18, 2018

White Poop Post

It's true. The last time Dave and I took a walk we saw white dog poop. It's an artifact, like nesting Pyrex bowls in four colors. Aluminum tumblers. Wax lips.

White dog poop.

I'm not the first to wonder whatever happened to white dog poop. You used to see it everywhere. Now there are way more dogs and not as much poop, and it's not likely to be white. We kids rolled around in the dirt all day, and between the chigger bites and the dog poop, we ended up with titanium immune systems that could thwart a virus from Mars. Today's kids are staring at screens and staying tidy and trying to decide whether they'd rather perish from asthma or food allergies if the ear infections don't take them down first.

As I recall the poop didn't come out white but turned white after petrification, which took a day or two. I looked it up, and the reason we used to have white dog poop was we used to feed dogs bones. Not only bones, but they weren't scoring the Alpo exclusively by any means. If you didn't give your dog bones, you'd just have to throw the bones out. And the bones were just part of the meal. A lot of dogs will eat a pair of socks on a Frisbee with Tinker-toy topping just in case it was tasty, and you don't even need to fuss with the presentation. Basically, anything you didn't personally want to finish, including your homework, went to the dog.

The bones gave the poop a nice armature and the rest of the goo leached out, leaving a turd-shaped wad of white calcium. Like the white turd we just saw. I checked: there was fur in it. We do have coyotes. And they ain't eating Alpo, unless that's your cat's name.

Our old dog Boomer had a little hitch in her git-along one day and I made an appointment with the vet, who instructed me to bring along some of her poop just for drill, so I followed her around the yard for an hour waiting for a deposit. She finally pushed out a stick of chalk and I gathered as many crumbles of it into a bag as I could and presented it to the vet, who looked at me in horror and derision. "What are you feeding that dog?" he demanded, in a tone of voice inappropriate to a man who was about to give me an invoice in three figures.

Well how the hell should I know? She wouldn't eat kibble. That dog had the run of the neighborhood and was cute as the dickens and I know the next-door neighbor fed her from his own plate, and God knows what the bartender at the Homestead Tavern tossed her before dialing us up to let us know where she was (again). Probably bones. The vet scolded me up one side and down the other and handed me a bill for telling me our dog was too long for her legs and would probably have back trouble for the rest of her life. I took her home and she bounced out of the car and never limped again.

Evidently modern dogs are as sensitive to poor quality food as their owners are sensitive to advertising. All I know is you can get turned in to the Humane Society for feeding them Store Brand Kibble instead of premium fare with the correct balance of nutrition particles and organic bison nuts, designed to replicate an ancestral diet. It's all antelope haunch, prairie grass, and caveman socks, and if it doesn't drain your wallet, you should be ashamed.

But the dogs of my youth did fine, until they got run over. It was quick. a '56 Buick wouldn't even leave a wet spot.


44 comments:

  1. Industrial food is as bad for our pets as it is for us and our kids. But it's convenient, and that seems to be the priority with people. "Oh, the government would never allow companies to sell anything harmful," some would say. I say, think again. The FDA allows these companies to determine whether something is harmful or not. Do you honestly think that scientists that are on their payroll aren't going to skew the results in their employers favor? There is no third-party testing of industrial food. None. Zip. I don't know about you, but I don't believe a single word a company claims about it's products. We were all a lot better off when we ate actual food that we actually prepared ourselves.

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    1. Hey, I still do! Mostly. Does ice cream count?

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  2. I've been trying to find canned whole mice for my cats for years. I can't believe no one makes it yet.

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    1. Shiiiite, dude! I'll provide the mice if you provide the, um, Mice-o-Matic.

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    2. I've often wondered that myself. And another thing---why does everyone think cats love fish so? I mean, they DO (mine can tell the difference between a can of tuna and a can of soup coming out of the cupboard from the other room), but WHY? It wasn't part of their ancient diet, was it?

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    3. Cats, like all carnivores are opportunistic predators. They eat what they come across, be it rodents, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, people. You get the idea. It doesn't even have to be fresh, though that is a nice perk. Cats will happily eat fish they find washed up on the beach or will even go fishing themselves. Yeah, check out the Youtube videos. Last time I checked, the prevailing notion was that domestic cats originated in Egypt where they probably hung out along the Nile, picking up fish as and where they could.

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    4. I knew a kitten that caught a fish in a river :)

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    5. In the 50s my old ginger tom caught goldfish from any neighbours pond that didn't have a mesh grid over it.

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    6. I'll just say here I do know all about the Mice-O-Matic and have used one repeatedly and got paid a whole $5900 a year to do it.

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  3. In late 50's Bend we had a German Shepard, Kim. He'd disappear for up to two weeks in the summer; neighbors would sometimes report seeing him at a lake up in the Three Sisters area and doing very well thank you. When he came home he was not skinny or even hungry. No idea what or who he ate. He also used to cruise the taverns in downtown looking for handouts around lunchtime.

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    1. I think he got all the way to Arlington Virginia and ate little girls. I kind of remember that dog.

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    2. Now that you mention it, he did have kind of a southern accent sometimes when he came back, and once had an 'I Like Ike' button on his shoulder.

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  4. Hooray for healthy immune systems. Mine is taking a beating now, but my delightfully grubby early days have served me well.

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  5. Murr, the receptionist, the vet tech and some other vet functionary (but not the vet) chewed me out three ways from Thursday the time I brought my Sam in with bloody stool as a result of feeding her pork chop bones. I was told to never feed my dog bones. I knew about chicken bones, but not about all the others. Our Lab used to chew through bones without trouble. Of course she actually had nicely lined up teeth in her uppers and lowers, whereas Sam has gaps you could shoot marbles through. She mostly breaks stuff up into convenient chunks and then swallows. Or just vacuums it up without any processing.

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    1. I've never seen a Labrador Retriever that couldn't hoover a bowl of food in under two seconds and they never seem to get sick. Well, they do throw up. That's just so they can have seconds.

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  6. So, how close to your house did you find the coyote poop? Close enough to make you worry?

    Highly entertaining in so many ways :)

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    1. Not worried here! And very close. We've seen them rather often, and we're close to the middle of town. Tater is an indoor cat.

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    2. I knew Tater would be safe. And Dave is big enough to be safe, too, I think. I was kind of worrying about YOU. A coyote killed a girl in a national park here just a few years back. She was alone and she wasn't worried either. We had coyotes in our town around the same time and that's when I stopped walking after dark.

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    3. I just looked that up. I think it's only the second case of human death by coyote ever. Of course just about any canid on the loose can do you damage. Anyway don't they mostly fold up after dark? (I haven't looked THAT up.) I see them in the daytime and they're mighty furtive. They run away from me.

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  7. Had neighbours whose dogs were fed daily canned food, with a chicken frame once a week. The kids went straight from breast feeding to processed food, starting with the usual pulped vegetables and on from there to sugary ice lollies, canned spaghetti (the pasta was pressed animal shapes, cos it encourages finicky eaters), ice cream on every dessert, "flavoured" milk drinks. And if they threw a tantrum at a plate of salad they could have a sandwich with candy sprinkles.They caught every damn' germ and allergy that blew in.

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    1. I know a child like that. He is pale and soft with very little muscle tone. It's a sad way for a child to be.

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    2. Feeding a child such foods should be considered child abuse. If one doesn't "have time" to cook them a proper meal, then one doesn't "have time" to have children in the first place. It's all about priorities. I notice people who don't "have time" to cook always seem to have enough time to waste on TV and social media.

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    3. Now I'm looking back at my own childhood and wondering if there was a salutary effect from margarine, marshmallow salad, and green bean bake.

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    4. At least you ate the green beans.

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  8. When we were young pet food was people food. Our dog at what we ate. We had no money for canned stuff. He gor rye bread with lard for breakfast. Some cheap meat scraps left from our supper and he did get veal bones that were boiled.

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    1. My own dog, pictured, had to be starving to eat kibble. And then she'd eat one kibble at a time with her lips peeled back. I don't know what-all she ate when she was on a toot but I guarantee it wasn't bagged dog chow.

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  9. I remember when dogs ate everything left over from every meal, plus a once weekly beef shin bone from the butcher. A healthy, varied diet, with a whole neighbourhood to run around in with kids galore, they had good lives back then. Now it's all fancy diets and pampering and wondering why Rover is upset and whining after being left inside all alone while you go to work.

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    1. Yeah. Although I don't miss the ubiquitous dog poop and the dogs that chased you on your bike. I don't miss those things at all.

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  10. Since becoming an adoring lackey to a West Highland White Terrier, I’ve joined a national Westie Facebook group to get answers to some questions that come up. Lordy, it’s just like the bitchy mothers group at Toddler Gymnastics. They argue and snipe over food brands, insult anyone who isn’t cooking individualized meals for their little baby pookie-wookie, and rank commercial brands from five-star, down. Mere competition ain’t adequate, here. I asked a question and had to preface it with, “Please be nice.” It all makes me feel like dog crap.

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    1. Now I want to join the Westie Facebook group and troll it.

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  11. One of my cats is elderly and will barf a lot if I don't feed her special food which, as fate would have it, is only available at the vet. The last bag cost $80 and it wasn't huge. I marched directly to Petsmart and found something similar for half the price.

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    1. That is true--they can get precious about their food when they're old. Makes me wonder what else is wrong? You know, like the kidney issues that might be caused by our flame-retardant carpeting. There's so much weird stuff we're all exposed to now that is new to the system.

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    2. Agree. I also worry about the chemicals we douse them with to get rid of fleas and ticks. I don't want to deal with a flea infestation again but then, I don't want to kill my cat.

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    3. Reason # 8,354 to keep your cat indoors!

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  12. Luke, the world’s worst Labrador, was a legend for what he gobbled. My whole family had swine flu just as we were having our kitchen remodeled; to say the house was a mess is an understatement. In two days, Luke managed to eat an entire box of Tamiflu, an entire box of Benadryl soft melts, and a small bottle of cough medicine. He felt fine. He also never caught the flu.

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    1. I'll bet he won't catch the flu if he lives to be a hundred.

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    2. (BTW this is what is known in the trade as a safe bet.)

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  13. Soft bones not so goo when stuck in a dogs throat. Hard bones good for cleaning teeth. As to white poop very very rare here...:)

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    1. I think I read something about cooked vs. uncooked chicken bones for dogs, but I don't remember what it is, and I don't have a dog, so...

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. (Try again) Cutest dog, looks happy! I can see why Boomer had a fan club. Kim in PA

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