Dyson Dog Syndome

Yesterday I was looking through some old photos and came across this one of Miss Piggy and The Late Howard Lee.

Our scanner isn’t working, so this is actually a picture of a picture.  It is also a prime illustration of how looks can be deceiving.

Notice how Howard looks like a slob, spread out over the floor like an Akita skin rug, while Miss Goody Four Paws sits daintily on the rug.  Oh, so wrong!   Howard had nobility and dignity.  Miss Piggy ?  No, no, no, not one drop of either.

The same dog that won’t step in dewy grass and doesn’t like to lie on the bare floor,  gets down and dirty in other situations.

I’ve noticed, during my recent forays on the Trail of Turds (our walks), that Miss Piggy’s droppings have been liberally peppered with little black flecks.  Perhaps I watch too much NCIS, but couldn’t this mean trouble?  My curiosity was aroused, not to mention my gag reflex.

While granddog goldendoodle Ivy was here, we fed them identical amounts of kibble, eliminated Miss P’s table food scraps in the interest of fairness, and cut back on dog treats.  Because Miss Piggy lives to eat, I feared that she would go into a depression but, perhaps because she saw that Ivy was getting the same treatment, she handled it pretty well, concentrating on stealing Ivy’s rawhide chews during that period.

A visit to the vet confirmed that this new diet regimen reaped big rewards.  She’d lost almost five pounds.  Our trimmed-down cocker spaniel now has more energy and takes longer walks, so we have continued to maintain that tough dietary stance.  (Okay, there was the Boar’s Head wiener incident, but that was only one bite…!)

What SHE adds to her diet is beyond our control and she is disgustingly creative about that.   After she raids the compost pile,  she trolls the yard, looking for any poop that strikes her fancy.  Dog poop…rabbit poop… bird poop… and probably chipmunk and squirrel poop, too, although I can’t be sure of that.  What does squirrel poop look like?  Do they bury it in some of those holes they dig?

Back to the peppery poop….  I asked Dearly Beloved if he’d noticed it.  He had… and was confident that he had identified it.

Thistle seeds.

Our  bird-brained pooch is eating bird seed!  The seeds fall out of the feeders and she scarfs them down the ol’ hatch before the birds or the squirrels can get to them.

Not that her behavior doesn’t have an upside….  For one thing,  she wants to go outside more, so she isn’t leaking in the house now.  Too, the damnsquirrels are discouraged by the slim pickings around the feeder.  Is that why, after years of ignoring our feeders, the bluebirds visit regularly in surprising numbers?

All this time, we’ve been thinking she should to earn her keep by doing something about those tree rats, like chasing them, but her handling of the situation seems to be working.  She sniffs around the yard, making her piggy noises as she vacuums everything into her gut.

Are we about to have a diverticular dog on our hands?

She doesn’t appear worried.  And her solution is working.

She may not be noble, but she’s certainly making a noble effort.


26 thoughts on “Dyson Dog Syndome

    1. She is, indeed a clean freak. We have the most crumb-free house in town, so I suppose it’s logical that our yard would be just as pristine. You’re probably right–she’s doing it for us.

  1. Let’s just say she is adding whole grains to her diet.
    I love that photo of Howard with MIss Piggy. I can tell he is a gentleman.

  2. Love the picture. The late Howard Lee is very handsome. I like how Miss Piggy has put her best self forward for the picture.
    One suggestion. RIce cakes. More fiber. They won’t add calories and but they will make her feel fuller. FIber can also keep her desire for scrounging down.
    Did I understand that you were feeding her more than Ivy before Ivy came to visit? I mean at first I was like–the same amount of food? Poor Ivy and then I thought OMG Miss Piggy the more mature pup has been eating more food than a young active Doodle, Well, never mind 5 pounds is a huge accomplishment. Good job.

  3. Love the expression goody four paws. Am passing that one on to my daughter, re her cat.
    Anyway, very funny post, it made me laugh out loud!

    1. Howard was, indeed, a handsome dog.

      Even the slimmed-down Miss Piggy makes her rooting noises when she’s (a) trolling for food or (b) scratching her butt. When she stops THAT, we’ll rename her!

  4. Five pounds is awesome, I’d settle for that. I have been putting “pure pumpkin” in Mighty Dog’s food and it has cut down on his pika eating–seeds, rocks, worms,dirt etc.
    The Late Howard Lee was grand looking. Love Akitas.

    1. The vet had recommended pumpkin… for constipation and for diarrhea. Pumpkin: the poop regulator.

      The Late Howard Lee was, according to his vets (yeah–definitely plural) was extraordinary for his breed and extraordinary for any breed. We’re reluctant to get another one. Miss Piggy loved Howard but says she’d rather have a cat now.

      Mighty eats rocks? Vet had photo of a dog’s stomach x-ray. Looked like he was building a fire ring in there.

  5. One of our dogs also scoops up everything in sight…even little rocks. She is so subtle about it I don’t always catch it even when I’m watching her. I’ve thought about a plastic muzzle but my husband won’t hear of it. So glad the newly svelte Miss Piggy is having more fun. Keep up the good work girls. It will do wonders for that arthritis.

  6. Our vet’s newsletter included a photo of an x-ray of a dog patient’s stomach and a header, “Guess what it is.” It was ROCKS! BIG rocks!

    We’re holding firm on her diet. Now to work on mine…!

  7. Janet H

    I remember taking a similar picture of the two dogs when we visited you, oh so many years ago. It was right after you had taken Miss Piggy in and Howard had been so protective of her. She became my pal for the visit and we snuggled on the couch together.

    1. Still have the sweet pictures you took and framed of them hanging in Wilmington. Her tummy is itching, should you be available to come scratch it for her.

      Good to hear from you!

  8. LOVE that first pic! Well, I love the second one too. My dogs are birdseed junkies. Sometimes their poop looks like some kind of bird treat you’d put in a suet feeder. ANYWAY! They are a nuisance when I fill the feeders, hovering around me praying that I’ll spill a drop.

    The worst side effect I’ve seen from all this seed-eating is excess flatulence!

    1. Oooh… so we DON’T have a dead possum in the fireplace?

      I didn’t realize that birdseed was a dog delicacy. Then again, I eat a few seeds myself–just not out of the birdfeeder.

  9. Please, oh please, Mary Lee, won’t you tell us some positive things about Miss Piggy? You know, stuff she would be proud to read (if only she could). I suppose I just know how I’d feel if the whole world knew about my “bad habits”. You must surely love her…………..yes? I want to hear about her redeeming qualities. Michele

    1. Miss Piggy is a survivor, having spent the first half of her life, undernourished and scared, popping out puppies (at least 50) in her outdoor raised chicken wire rabbit cage. As terrified of thunder and wind as she still is–even warm and safe now– it’s hard to imagine how she survived. She is the most docile dog you will ever meet–kids love to pet her. She considers food her security, her comfort, her friend. There is a little girl outside at this very moment, trying to coax to Miss P to play with her–but Miss P prefers to be under the bird feeder, munching thistle seeds.
      How about this–she keeps the floor, her bowl, her feet, and her rear end spotlessly clean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s