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The Same Discriminating Tastes as a Starving Hyena

Click here to read the complete article
108 – July 2019

by Chris Robinson

“Zeke would happily consume things at which even a very hungry buzzard would turn up its beak. Oddly enough, that did not include birds as he was so soft-mouthed that in his long life as a hunting dog, I don’t think he ever put so much as a single tooth mark on a bird.”

We all know dogs that are happy to eat a lot of things that would never pass our lips–grass, pig ears, cow leg bones, rawhide, to name just a few. There are also dogs, like Bo, my current Chesapeake, who is so picky that only kibble that costs half the national debt per bag topped with homemade chicken loaf – that’s nearly as costly to prepare – is satisfactory. One of my dogs has developed such an appetite for the quarter socks I wear with sneakers in the summer, that at day’s end they had to be secured in a closed hamper or they’d have vanished by morning. Then, there are some, like a friend of mine’s wonderful old Golden Retriever, Zeke, that would eat absolutely anything and everything.

Dogs, strictly speaking – like their original ancestor, the wolf – are carnivores, but somewhere during the evolution from canis lupus to canis lupus familiaris, dogs acquired a gene that expanded their gustatory horizons to the point where they are now omnivores, a word which, if my Catholic priest pal (the only person I know who has ever taken a course in Latin) is correct, is made up of two words – omnis, meaning “all” and vorare, meaning “devouring. But I have to take his word for it because the closest I’ve ever come to anything that had even a remote connection to this “dead language” was a college French course.

I digress. So back to Zeke and his truly catholic (lower case “c” is important here) appetite. Where Bo is about as persnickety as can be about what goes in his stomach, Zeke had all the discriminating culinary tastes of a starving hyena. He would happily consume things at which even a very hungry buzzard would turn up its beak. Oddly enough, that did not include birds, as he was so soft-mouthed that in his long life as a hunting dog, I don’t think he ever put so much as a single tooth mark on a bird.

Zeke was a big, happy, friendly, amiable galumph of a Golden, who was not only a first rate retriever but a great companion, most of the time. The issue with Zeke was his appetite, both in terms of quality and quantity. That was fine as far as dog food and even a few table scraps were concerned. His owner never had to go out of his way to keep Zeke happy with what he was being fed. No, the problem was with all the stuff he’d find for himself, and even that wouldn’t have been a big deal if his digestive sys- tem would have been a match for his eclectic tastes, or perhaps a better phrase would be his lack of taste.

Click here to read the complete article
108 – July 2019

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=166682

Posted by on Jul 16 2019. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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