Ode to spring!
The birds are chirping.
The weather’s fine.
Windows are open and
Clothes dance on the line.
The lawn is greening,
Lilies don’t droop.
Dogs are relishing
Fresh rabbit poop.
Ewww. And then comes retching
We always look forward to the end of winter. Spending pleasant time outside with the dogs. But the idea is usually better than the reality. We actually spend our time in the yard following our dogs around saying “drop that.” “Leave it.” “Eww.” “Don’t do that!” “Quiet – that’s our neighbor.”
And, with multiple dogs, we inevitably miss someone eating something they shouldn’t. And wake up in the middle of the night to the sound that makes dog owners shoot out of bed faster than any other – dogs retching.
Avoiding the pain
With luck, if we’ve heard it fast enough, we manage to move whichever dog’s retching to a surface that’s easy to clean. Or hold them dangling over the toilet. Or at least off the bed so we don’t have to change the sheets in the middle of the night.
A friend of ours calls her dog’s habit “eating salad.” Her girl finds whatever over-grown patch of vegetation there is and starts chowing down. We’ve always called it “being a cow” because our dogs like grass. The lawn kind – not anything almost-not-illegal any more.
This is Simon’s very first Spring – he’s now nine months old. And he has a taste for dandelions! We’re actually pretty happy about that. Dandelions are sort-of a superfood. Since we don’t use any chemicals on the lawn, Simon’s become our source of dandelion control. He shares an occasional dandelion flower with our bearded dragon, but other than that, he pretty much has them all to himself.
And, so far, so good. Simon’s stomach seems to tolerate the greens. We do make sure he doesn’t do too much “grazing.” It’s not quite the same story for our other dogs.
You would think that “survival of the fittest” would dictate that, by now, rabbits would know better than to set up housekeeping in our yard. It’s certainly shouldn’t be any secret to the local wildlife that dogs own our yard. But, if bunnies were bright, they could have a lower rate of reproduction.
Unfortunately, dogs seem to think rabbit poop is caviar for canines. They can sniff it out at any distance. Teddy was the world-champion, but the resident dogs are no slouches.
We’ve been assured by veterinarians that, while disgusting, eating rabbit poop doesn’t seem to have any long-term ill effects on the dog. It can result in “non-pathogenic yeast” showing up in their system, but other than that, not really a problem. Until they eat too much of it.
Disturbance in the night
When we get that post-midnight wake-up call of retching dogs, and we’re too late, we do know an almost-magical formula for getting stains out of carpet – thanks to our dear friends at Good Housekeeping. Mix a tablespoon of Dawn Dish Soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar into two cups of warm water. Scrub like crazy and repeat daily until the stain disappears.
This time, it took us three days – but it worked!