Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow White and the poisoned apple

I have been "underground" for a while. That means snowed under, buried, overwhelmed with work. This is when it becomes challenging to decide what to do to keep two highly active, disruptive and destructive puppies occupied while you are gone.

(You may have noticed that there have been no photos on my site recently. This is because the Twin Terminators desiccated the download cable between my camera and computer and it has yet to be replaced.)

But I digress. I read Jean Donaldson's advice in The Culture Clash about making chew toys more interesting by filling them with yummy things. Then one should hide them in the garden for your pups to find - a kind of treasure hunt for canines.

Well, I filled my one remaining Kong ( a chewable object that you should fill with treats or dog pellets) with bread - not exactly nutritious but the only thing at hand as I had been too busy to shop. Donaldson also recommended making a nest of rags with a treat in the middle. Then tie the whole lot together with several knots for the dog who likes dissecting things (not to be used if you dog tends to swallow unsafe things).

So I cut up one of my T-shirts that had numerous holes in it courtesy of the Twin Terminators and used it to make a package filled with bread. Next I raided the fridge for bags of carrots and apples which I have discovered the pups love.

At 6.00am I flitted around the garden hiding my goodies and dozens of apples and carrots in every bush I could find. You could say my garden looked distinctly vegetarian. I felt like the Easter Bunny on a sugar free diet. (OK, so there is sugar in everything but at least it was not chocolate which is known to be poisonous to dogs and cats!).

However when I proudly explained to my behaviourist what I had done, she laughed and said did I realise that apple seeds are poisonous to dogs? I was unintentionally giving the legendary poisoned red apple to my poor little Snow Whites. The next day I carefully de-cored all my apples before decorating my garden again. When I returned home it was to find the Kong empty, the T-shirt package dissected, all the apples missing and a few chunks of carrot lying around.

I was worried about the extra calories they were consuming but again the experts say that dogs do not have the intestinal enzymes to break down the sheath that surrounds vegetables. And so it comes out just as it goes in ... in undigested chunks. This does not however apply to bread!

Oh yes, the other thing I have learnt is that experts contradict themselves. At puppy school I was told tea tree oil is just the thing for distracting your pups from chewing your household goods as they dislike the scent. Now I have been told tea tree oil is potentially poisonous to dogs and citronella is a much better idea.

You know, sometimes all you can do is the best you can.

1 comment:

  1. Twin Terminators? Now there's a potent description of your two little monsters. Maybe you should invest in a treadmill and get them running on it after a scented t-shirt!!