Thursday, May 08, 2008

Maggot and rotting sheep carcass

The DevilDog, being old and arthritic, has a daily regime of pills and vitamins that would make a large person rattle. There's his glucosamine with added chondroitin, his evening primrose oil and cod liver oil capsules, and not forgetting the anti-inflammatories that cost more than the GDP of a small South American republic.

In order to make this lot more palatable for him, he has supplementary meat added to his normal diet of dried complete dog food. I'm not someone who spends a fortune on feeding animals, so I tend to go for whatever's on special offer at the supermarket or petstore. It never ceases to amaze me the sheer variety on offer.

Back in the day, when I was still in short trousers and being raised by a dachshund called Kipper, tinned dog food was called Pal or Chum or Bounce. The tin showed a picture of a healthy-looking dog, and very little attention was paid to the actual contents. It usually smelled foul and contained suspicious looking lumps of grey gristly matter. Donkey was probably a large constituent, along with horse and the bits of cows and sheep that no-one else wanted to eat.

Kipper, of course, loved it.

Nowadays tinned (and sacheted, and foil-containered) dog food is packaged as if it were the owner who was going to eat it, not the dog. The latest batch of Butchers brand stuff I bought for the DevilDog has four different recipes available: Beef, Chicken and Carrots; Turkey, Game and Vegetables, Lamb, Kidney and Peas; and Chicken, Ham and Mushrooms.

Now, the SausageDog will eat cooked carrots, but that's because he's a bit weird that way. When, though, have you ever seen a dog eat mushrooms? I know it's not something I've ever encountered. This week's pills have been mushed up in Lamb, Kidney and Peas, and I can't help noticing that the only thing left in the bottom of the dinner dish after feeding time is a few insipid-looking pale green half-shells.

Anyone who has owned a dog will know that they do not have the most discerning of palates. Sure, there are some breeds that can be a little fussy, but only if you pander to them. A couple of missed meals and they'll eat pretty much anything you throw at them, judging by the sorts of things that the DevilDog and his pals have been found chomping on. It's less than a year since he and the SausageDog were wolfing down Chiswick's leavings, after all.

It wasn't that long ago that Butchers Tripe was exactly what it said on the tin. Honest to goodness cows innards, minced up into a disgusting grey mess that dogs found irresistible. But now even that company has felt the need to sell to the punter rather than the end-consumer. And like the idiots we are, we fall for it. If you don't believe me, then next time you're at the supermarket, compare the premium dog-food ranges with the ready meals.*

But if you asked your dog what it really wanted, I'm sure you'd get a very different kind of marketing. Week dead badger, anyone? Or how about that old favourite, sheep shit? Nothing like a bit of pre-digested grass to get the blood flowing.

And for the urban dog, there's always pavement pizza. Yum.

* Actually, what's quite fun is to swap them over and see if anyone notices. But you do tend to get banned from Morrisons if they catch you.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous norby said...

My childhood dog (Punkin) was an accomplished beggar who loved anything that wasn't a vegetable. My dad was fascinated by this and would try to sneak veggies into her bowl, hiding them in meat. She would gulp down the food, and we would find the veggies still there in the bowl.

If you threw her one from the table, I swear it would actually get partway down her throat before she realized what it was and then she would spit back out. It was amazing to watch. Fun for the whole family...

May 10, 2008 2:38 am  
Blogger Jo said...

We once took in a stray Labrador for a few days til we found his owner and despite tempting him with all kinds of premium dog food, all he would eat was burnt toast soaked in tea...

As for veggies, when given the remains of Sunday lunch each week, my friends spaniel would eat everything except the sprouts, which were always left in a neat little pile next to her food bowl.

May 10, 2008 9:13 am  
Blogger highlandwriter said...

LOL! When I was in pigtails and blue jeans, we used to have this schipperke who loved carrots. He just loved them. Carrots, cheese and the odd slice of apple. He would have lived on table food, had we let him. But he got something called Gainsburgers or some semi moist dog food. Spoiled puppy! ;-)

May 15, 2008 1:26 am  

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