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October 15, 2008

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Bourjaily: My Dog Ate the _________?

When you have dogs, you spend a lot of time cleaning up after them. In the process, you learn more about their dietary habits than you ever wanted to know. For instance, I can tell you that Jed loves to eat foam earplugs even though I’ve never actually seen him with one in his mouth.

It could be worse. The earplugs pass through his system intact, and the day-glo foam stands out like little beacons in the backyard, making it easy to spot the messes for clean up.

Ike, my old dog, has a nose for chocolate. A few years ago my mom sent each of my boys a pound of chocolate coins for Christmas. She neglected to tell us what was in the boxes, so on Christmas Eve we put them under the tree with the other gifts. We came home after midnight mass to find Ike had torn open both packages, carefully unwrapped every single coin, and eaten them all.

Chocolate is supposedly deadly poison to dogs, I dialed my vet’s emergency number and woke the doctor on call at 1:30 Christmas morning. She was very nice, considering. She asked me what kind of chocolate it was – milk (not so bad) or dark (very bad)  – did some calculations and told me two pounds of milk chocolate was nowhere near the lethal dose for a 62-pound setter, although it might be enough to make a 10 pound Chihuahua very sick. To play it safe, she told me give him some hydrogen peroxide to make him throw it back up. (Hydrogen peroxide, I learned that night, works like a charm if you want to induce vomiting in dogs.)

Ike is infamous at my house for devouring the entire double batch of pepperoni balls my wife had made for a school function. Next day’s hunt he turned in one of the best performances of his life on roosters, although he had to stop frequently to expel pepperoni. Pam was not amused when I suggested she make pepperoni balls for Ike before every hunt.

I am forever amazed at what dogs can and will eat, so that’s today’s topic: “My dog at the _____.”


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Aaron C

When I was a kid, we had a dog that could unwrap caramels. She would hop into our neighbor's pickup, take one piece of candy from the ashtray, and carry it to a shady spot. She would then very delicately work the candy for about five minutes, spit out a perfectly clean cellophane wrapper, and go back for another single caramel.


Had a nephew who had a friend who bred Bassets. My eldest son fell in love with the breed and asked his cousin to find out about getting him a pup. OF Course,he got the pup, and asked his cousin what the pup ate. "Any thing, and all of it, was the answer",and I must say, truer words were never spoken,nylon hose,VW tires,(still on the VW),piano legs,tooth brushes,and the normal stuff like shoes,socks,all animal waste,and cats,(dead or soon to be).She didn't seem to have any prejudices when it came to food.Very low slung,her belly was only 4" from the ground,but she could catch a cat on average of one every couple weeks, and never practiced catch and release. At 5yrs. of age she made her last meal on a fresh caught sreelhead,and died from salmon poisoning, because I had neglected to immunize her. Will always regret that oversight.


My cousins used to have a rat terrier on their farm that had quite a taste for catfish bait- stinkbait, old hot dogs, livers, etc. You name it, Sally loved it. It was to the point that we needed to be extremely careful whenever we were out fishing... the dog had to have surgery twice to remove trebel hooks that it had swallowed when it was sneaking a taste of stinkbait behind our backs...


Okay here I thought our 2 year old Chocolate Lab/PitBull mix would somehow 'grow out' of wanting to eat everything she can get her jaws around! She is a four legged garbage disposal unit! From what you all have posted above I guess we're screwed! The only thing she won't touch is the inexpensive dog food we tried to feed her once.

Well there might be some redeeming qualities to her appetite though; I see one of those college brats canvassing for Obama; "Here Brownie..."


I once saw my friend's black Lab, Pepper, scarf up a lit firecracker. The 'cracker went off in the dog's mouth, but she seemed only momentarily bewildered, and then went right back to trying to catch firecrackers in her mouth as we threw them (we quickly put her in her kennel).

That Lab was utterly NOT gun-shy.

Bill (NOT Maher!)

Reminds me of when my small Gerber mini-folder disappeared. I kept it on top of a clothing chest in my bedroom and it came up missing. After three days I saw something black sticking out of my late Cocker Spaniel's mouth while he was asleep and there it was. I started watching him when he would go into the bedroom...he would get on the bed and then lean up against the chest and go through my things, always getting the little knife. He did this about three times. How I miss him!

VaTx Hunter

My younger brother left is German shepard in the truck once for whatever reason.
When he came back the dog he found the dog had eaten
the whole corner of the seat down to the springs.

Mike I

One of my lab's favorite delicacies is leftover wood from our firepit. He waits until the pit is cold and then goes in and eats the charred pieces. But being a lab, if it will fit in his mouth, he will eat it. Anytime one of our kids toys disappeared, I would find bits of it a couple days later in the yard while cleaning up.


I have two stories about Sam, our 3 year old GSP.

1. Chocolate: she ate some, not enough to really hurt her, but needed to induce vomiting. Fought her into the bathtub for easier clean up, gave her a big dose of peroxide. She began to retch, retch again...retch...then let out a long stream of perfectly tuned dogfart.

I swear she smiled when she looked up at us.

2. Sam had been a bad dog and ate some sort of towel or something. As this began to pass, the towel began to "emerge." For some reason, I caught her squatting in the backyard when this was happening. She looked a bit perturbed, possibly embarrassed as she began to do her business. I remember her looking behind her, seeing what would be best described as a "turd on a string," becoming alarmed and taking off across the yard, periodically checking behind her only to see her "passenger" still there. Each time she would look and see the hanger-on, her speed would increase. By the time I caught up to her, she was pretty upset that she couldn't outrun her "attacker." I was having trouble catching my breath from laughing.

What a comic...


My sister came home one day to find a bottle of pain killers chewed up and laying on her kitchen floor. She called the vet and did the peroxide thing (scary how well it works) As she was cleaning up after the dog that night she found a bunch of pills in his cage under his pillow. all 100 that came in the bottle.


I have a dog (goldenretriever, irish setter, rottweiler, chow mix) that will take roasted peanuts in the shell and actually unshell the peanuts and spit the shells. She'll also eat vegetables and fruits. She also has a thing for cat food but it makes her sick.

Dr. Ralph

And I thought my dog was a problem... I've been pulling yellow strings from a tennis ball out of my dog's rear along with carpet fibers from a throw rug in the bathroom. Thought I was the only person in the world who ever had to do this, and now I can't even compete with the cassette tape or thong. You know "man's best friend" is more than just a saying when you catch yourself pulling things out of your dog's a$$.

Jim in Mo.

Getting that dog to admit it is powerless to control his addiction is the first step.

Phil Bourjaily

All -- Best responses ever. This is a hoot to read.

Kitty -- send an e-mail to [email protected] Tell him to forward your request for the pepperoni ball recipe to me (Phil) and I'll get it to you.


We had a massive lab with a similar appetite. She liked to eat concord grapes off the vine, only the ripe ones, though Ate a choclate layer cake, bags of chocolates, haunch of venison well past fresh, and lots and lots of woodchucks, dead or alive. Always rolled in those first and farted under the endtable that night. Then I came in to find a quarter of a pan of the wife's famous, highly prized caramels on the counter. I was happily cutting out chunks for snacks until she arrived home to ask how I ate the entire batch, which I hadn't. We soon reaised the lab had eaten nearly a double batch and licked the pan so clean I thought they were taken out by the wife. What the dog did not slobbered off the pan I had eaten. Oh yeah, and the only book she ever touched in her life was a classic on how to train a retriever. Chewed that book into confetti.


Moose turds
Their own turds
The hair we clip off of them
A balloon

jersey pig

the 11 month old golden retriever will eat anything he can, up to and including the living room couch or any number of toys i have bought him. i stopped buying things that weren't rated to withstand atomic explosions for him. i swear he is absolutely mind boggling.

the 18 month old brittany (bird dog) is less of an issue. although he is not to be trusted either as i have found him attempting to devour a pillow several times his size, and i swear, i think he was trying to swallow it whole.


This has been fun to read. And I thought I'd had the dumbest golden retriever in history. Was given to me as a gift after eating a newspaper (including the plastic wrapper) of the original owner (who had spent several hundred dollars to get him, doghouse, accessories etc), anyway the newspaper wrapper incident cost them many hundreds of dollars in vet bills, after which he just pooped it out anyway. When he ate the phone cord off the side of the house, they decided he needed a new owner.
While a very likeable critter, that dog wouldn't hunt, as they say. If you had a tennis ball, he was your best friend, if you had a shotgun, he'd run and hide.
Taking him for late night constitutionals was interesting, as he'd disappear in the dark, come back several minutes later, always with a ball of some kind in his mouth. Had a big box of them in the garage.
Also got his ass kicked by a goose with a broken wing one day, after that any time he heard one honk he'd lay down with his chin on the ground and eyes closed.


My terrier loves to eat bell peppers and he will hunt flies and junebugs in the summer. He attacks any animal that comes into his yard. The old mut one time ate 16 peices of fried chicken off of the kitchen counter. My cousin's lab has eaten a battery charger cable, leather sofa cushins, a whole case of peanut butter power bars including the wrappers (that was a fun night), wife's underwear, and bit a chunk out of a rubber toy that had to be surgicaly removed from her stomach.

John Grunwald

When I was a lot younger than I am now I came across a dog that would eat cigarette butts. But they had to be still lit. It turned out that this dog had been in a fire when it was young and would do anything to put out or get away from a fire.

Dr. Ralph

I don't believe the whole dogs can't eat chocolate line... I grew up with a Springer Spaniel who used to eat fun size Snickers bars every day, and whenever we rode to the local mom & pop grocery store we would buy her Tootsie Rolls.


My setter would eat almost anything, and the only "food items" he would not eat were bananas and jello. He loved to eat the heads off green plastic army men, would not touch the brown ones.My mother was a good cook, but would leave oven fresh food on the counter to cool, we "lost" a roast pork, a bowl of meat balls, pot of mashed potoatoes, freshly fried flounder,boiled shimp(he spit out the shells)loaves of fresh baked bread, cakes, pies and cookies. after awhile we wondered who was worse my mother for leaving it out, or the dog.try to give him any type of medicine, no matter how you rolled it up in meat, stucck it in peanut butter, etc, after some hard work on his part the pill would be spit out.
Loved that dog.


My 55lb runt boxer ate the god knows how huge easter ham roast once. In less than 15 minutes. Our living room has never seen such flatulence.

She's not a hunting dog in the "traditional" sense, but she is in the really traditional sense. She runs down and eats rabbits in the scrub forest back behind my house. Saves me a little money, keeps her in shape, and lets her be what she really is deep down inside, a wolf.

Needless to say, she didn't catch anything the next day.


I laugh each time I think of this... I had finished cooking and the grease had cooled in the fry pan, so I went outside and threw the grease out of the pan. Winston, my bird dog, knew that whatever came out of that pan was good to eat... and he had better beat the other dogs to it... the grease landed right on one of their turds. He took a whopping bite and jerked up his head and looked at me with the most disgusting look on his face, and his mouth going
"mnyaah, mnyaah, mnyaah." I thought I would die! I went back in the house and we all laughed our butts off! No, I did NOT brush his teeth!

Del in KS

Young dogs grow new teeth somewhat like human babies. They need something to chew on. We have saved many shoes, belts, comforter, carpet, and wallpaper simply by giving the wife's toy Poodle Bunny a pigskin twist everyday and teaching her not to chew anything else. She still eats any crap she finds while walking.

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