Friday, April 1, 2011

Goodies for a special dog

In view of today's date, readers might imagine that I'm about to tell them a tall tale. This is not the case. The trivial anecdote I'm about to relate is perfectly authentic.

Normally, I make an effort to enhance each of my blog articles with images of one kind or another (which—as I pointed out in my earlier article this morning—is great for the new view features). I have the impression that my bare words, unaccompanied by any kind of pictorial stuff, would be as boring as a Sunday sermon. Today, however, there will be no photographic evidence to support the main theme of my story, since I decided that such an image would be distasteful. But I've nevertheless inserted a slightly relevant photo later on. Here's the tale.

A few days ago, while walking around alongside the house with the intention of using a trowel to scoop up any of Fitzroy's overnight droppings, I was alarmed to come upon a little pile of spectacular turds. They were speckled with small bright orange blobs about the size of grains of rice. I was alarmed. My first impression was that Fitzroy had found a box of scarlet-colored rice laced with arsenic, designed to kill rats… that's to say, particularly dumb rodents that aren't smart enough to realize—like most self-respecting rats—that this stuff is deadly. I noticed that Fitzroy was just behind me, looking fine, not at all what you would expect for a dog that might have consumed rat poison. In fact, Fitzroy seemed to be intrigued that his master appeared to be so interested in this quite ordinary pile of dog shit. Don't forget that "ordinary" for a dog means "of ordinary odors", not "of ordinary hues". In other words, rainbow-colored turds wouldn't normally impress Fitzroy in one way or another, whereas turds that smelled like freshly-baked meat pie (which was certainly not the case here) would no doubt impress him greatly. Anyway, I soon realized that the considerable quantity of orange grains in the turds were simply fragments of plastic. In an instant, I understood what had happened. Fitzroy had merely made a meal of some of my hose fittings, of the famous Gardenia brand. And no harm was done, as far as I could gather (except, of course, to my hoses), because this stuff seemed to have passed through Fitzroy's digestive organs like lead shot, fired from a hunter's gun, passing through the soft belly of a duck. [I really had to work hard to find that last comparison… which is probably not as good as I thought.]

I carried out a rapid inspection and found that Fitzroy had indeed consumed most of my orange plastic hose connectors. Instead of analyzing this accident any further, I merely went along to a hardware store and purchased replacement articles.

To take the above photo, I brought the stuff out into the sunlight, where Fitzroy was able to gaze upon this basket of enticing goodies. I had the impression that my dear dog was already smacking his lips.

In the human domain, I've always felt that hungry individuals fall into two quite different categories. On the one hand, there are those who savor the taste of what they're offered. (I believe they're referred to as foodies in Australia.) On the other hand, there are those whose primary desire is to get their teeth stuck into something substantial, no matter how dull it tastes: maybe a thick tough steak or a king-sized hamburger drowned in ketchup. Here at Gamone, my dog Sophia belongs clearly to the first category. She would be capable of watching Master Chef on TV, and salivating. As for Fitzroy, he's strictly a fast-food guy. He's perfectly happy to sink his teeth into a whopping big Plastic Mac, gulped down with muddy water.


  1. Good grief! So how do you stop him from eating your hose fittings?

  2. That's a good question... to which I have no obvious answer. It's possible, of course, that Fitzroy himself will decide, for one reason or another, that a meal of orange plastic is not such a big deal. The problem would be more serious (1) if Fitzroy were consuming a noxious product, which doesn't appear to be the case, or (2) if his eating habits were harmful to others... as was the case, long ago, when Sophia used to bite into the ears of my young lambs. As for stopping Fitzroy from chewing my hose fittings, the only feasible solution would be to catch him red-handed and then perform a screaming/thrashing act (without injuring either of us, naturally). That worked perfectly for Sophia and the lamb ears, but the price I paid was that my Belle neighbors down on the main road happened to hear (and see from afar) my performance, and considered me henceforth as a sadistic and dangerous dog-beater. So, I'm not particularly enthusiastic about the idea of staging another such happening merely to inform Fitzroy of my annoyance. Conclusion: It's maybe wiser to buy new hose fittings, while hoping that Fitzroy will end up changing his eating habits. In fact, I have unlimited faith in the wisdom of dogs, and in their capacity to lead lives that harmonize with the lifestyles of their human "masters" (friends).