My dog can eat anything and not die.
April 16, 2004
If you haven't already had the pleasure, let me take a moment to introduce Pork. Pork
is a pug, a pug that lives in my house. Among his more endearing qualities are his independently swiveling eyes (which
give him incredible gecko-like peripheral vision), his propensity for snorting and
spraying pug saliva in your face and, most of all, his weight. The Sears catalog
would group him under its "husky" sizing chart. I call him a tub.
Poor Pork was named too well. He was 10 weeks old when he first snorted his way into
our lives. I couldn't possibly have foreseen the monster that was to surface. Not
all pugs turn out this way. In fact, just the other day I saw a strapping young four
year old that Pork probably outweighed by 10 pounds. If seven dog years is one human
year, then 10 dog pounds must be 100 human pounds. He's fat. Go figure.
I swear it's not my fault; I'm a good mother! We never feed him people food. He's
not rewarded for begging. He doesn't get that many treats. He's even on the weight
watchers dog food. My only conclusion is that it has to be the non-nutritional calories
he's ingesting that tip the scales. The iron rich bottle-caps and fiber heavy cat
poop are the real culprits.
So come with me. Let's take a Sunday stroll down the slippery slope that is Pork's
Pork's Bunger, in addition to serving as an exit for all that he eats, is the portal
to another dimension. Once inside, all time slows to one-sixth speed, much like
gravity on the moon. Everything is a little murky and hazy like a bad mushroom
trip or the reason someone thought Max Headroom was a good idea. The Bunger does
not have control over the tides, but it does have other magical powers.
The Bunger speaks to me at night from the shadows. "Come closer, female human. I
want to tell you a tale," it will say.
I approach, cradling an attentive ear. The Bunger speaks often of the Fairy Princess
and the Warthog King. It considers itself an expert on Greek mythology and gladly
entertains us for hours with the adventures of Poseidon, the Minotaur
and the River Styx. It also does a mean Bette Midler inspired one-Bunger-show.
Most often, though, it just makes calculated threats. "If you ever want to see the
battery cover for the DVD remote again, you will tell me where you keep the shortening."
The Titanium Intestine
I've assembled a partial list of things he's consumed. It's an incomplete list only
because I couldn't possibly (nor would I want to) know about everything. It is also worth
mentioning that this list, while impressive, is that of a two year old dog. This
fat bastard has a good 10 years left with which to add to it.
Even with all this, I really do love my dog. His fat pug ways are often as endearing
as they are infuriating. However, I'm hoping that the old adage "owners always end up
looking like their dogs" does not hold true in my case. Someone please shoot me if you
even so much as spy the beginning of a facial fold or curly pig tail start to appear. I
already occasionally snort when I laugh...it must all be downhill from here.
The Inside of my couch
In this case he's passed on his deviance to our other dog, Dill, who is normally
very well behaved. Mind you, the couch was not that special in the first place
- just some old thing from Ikea that gets the job of sitting around done. Still, I was
rather fond of it when it was in one piece. Pork has graciously torn off the
zippers, destroyed a pillow and eaten out the insides of the cushions. Now when
I'm out gardening in the yard, I frequently find discolored chunks of sofa that
have passed through my dog's colon. I clutch each piece to my bosom, look to the
heavens and scream.
"WHY, GOD, WHY? WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME AND MY NEED FOR COMFORTABLE HOME SEATING?! WHY??"
Mine in particular, although Dan's are certainly not exempt. How does he get
these, you ask? I think pugs can secretly levitate when presented with the
musky treasure trove that is a pile of dirty laundry. As a result, I have
precious few pairs that I'd want to be seen wearing when I get strip searched
by the boys down at the station. It's only a matter of time, my friends.
To be fair, any paper product* is a potential meal. I'd like to
make a special case of Exhibit A. I was not halfway through this book when
Pork decided to burrow with it deep into his cave under my bed. Who knew
pugs were into 20th Century American Eugenics? Not I. He voraciously consumed
its contents - Henry Ford's Nazi connections, the Carnegies, Harvard's ulterior
motives, oh my! What this dog can teach you!
Toilet paper is another favorite delicacy (to date, thankfully, always unused). I
cannot count the times I found the roll trailing from the bathroom, through the
laundry room and into the kitchen -- at least 20 feet.
A quick mouth finger sweep was applied. He is a very stupid animal.
The Penny Incident
New Years Eve 2002 was probably the closest yet he's come to death. My brother
was visiting and everyone was festive, ready to go out and have a night on the
town. Pork was not himself. At first he was merely lethargic. We brushed it
off; there were a lot of people around which can be a big deal for a fat little
pug. His lethargy soon became a near complete lack of response, followed by
what appeared to be convulsions. This did not bode well. I rushed him to the
emergency vet on the other side of town.
I was worried sick, anxiously watching for signs of another pug seizure. Would he
live? Was he going to pull through? The vet said that they'd keep an eye on him
and do some X-rays. I'd no other choice than to head home. Mere minutes later I received a phone
call: "Well, he's out of the woods," the vet informed me, "he just passed a
penny." JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. I was still in the car and suppose I could have
gone back to get him. But I felt it best that he stay there and think about what he'd done.
I guess I should preface this by saying he hasn't managed to actually SWALLOW these
(that I am aware of), but it's come damned close. Keep in mind that these suckers
are 3.5 inches long. Our roof was repaired and the workers didn't seem to think
it problematic that the old nails ended up scattered all over the deck and
yard. Pork fancied himself an archaeologist and busied himself by digging these out
from between the slats and hoofing it off to a corner to infect himself with
tetanus. Do dogs get this? In his case it would be great, as it causes your
maxillary muscles to clench up. I love it - bring on the lock jaw!
Wood chips, sticks, leaves, dirt, sod, flowers, rocks, roots, straw, mulch. I've
given up trying to stop him at this point.
I refer to this as the "dingler effect." My friend Anne has very long hair. Much
like the dogs, Anne sheds. Copiously. Her hair ends up in every possible crevice,
crack and cranny. I once pulled a clump (clump!) out of the freezer. Hence, it
is no big surprise that strands of her luscious locks also wind up coming out the
other end of Pork. The problem: the hair usually does not make it all the way
out. Neither does the transport to which it clings. For the imagination impaired,
this means that Pork is left with a turd dangling several inches below his bunger by a
human hair that is hanging from his rectum.
This usually results in a lot of ass dragging around the yard until the dingler is set free. If dragging proves
a failure, yours truly must physically wipe Pork's butt with whatever item might be
handy: a leaf, a newspaper, a book of matches. Remind me to shake your hand when we meet.
Birth Control Pills...twice
It's a relief that Pork will never know the joys of motherhood. This was always
unlikely as he was born male, but Jesus works in strange ways. When you also consider that
we paid good money to have him eunuch-ized, I doubt he'll be procreating any time
soon. This, incidentally, doesn't stop him from humping our other (eunuch) dog's
face, but the Gay Dog Theory is a topic for another article.
The first time he ate a birth control pill was my fault -- I dropped one of my pills. He dove for it and
conquered, end of story. The second time was more dubious. Anne was crashing on the couch. Her
bag, innocently enough, was on the floor next to her. Ever the inquisitive
one, Pork opted to investigate. He's told me on several occasions that he
likes to make sure our guests aren't packing any concealed weapons. Long story
short: in the morning her pill case was destroyed, the contents ravaged. Give
me another 100cc of Ortho Tri-Cyclen®, stat!
Dan's headphones, more remote controls than I can name here, RCA cables; nothing
is safe. Keep in mind that these are things he has eaten, not chewed. That's right,
he ate a fucking pair of headphones. Well, technically, I guess he only ate one, but
the other was pretty useless without its mate.
For Pork, this foul substance ranks up there with filet mignon and chilled beluga
caviar. He literally goes crazy for the shit (no pun). This is the one thing that
takes me beyond mere annoyance. I HATE when he eats cat shit. That smell does not
go away. Once, when I thought he was eating wood chips again, I swooped in with the
ever reliable finger sweep. Big mistake. No amount of scrubbing will get that goddamned
stink off your skin or from underneath your nails.
The winner though, the most repugnant if you will (I'm killing myself here. Join
me.), began like any normal trip outside to take care of pug business. Pork comes, goes
and returns to the inner sanctum of our humble home. Suddenly a strangled scream rings
out. "Get in here and see what just came out of your son's mouth!!" I run, tripping,
up the stairs. There on the kitchen floor is a small brown pile -- a pile that appears
to be moving outward.
HE PUKED UP A CHUNK OF MAGGOT RIDDEN CAT SHIT THAT WAS NOW CRAWLING ACROSS MY KITCHEN FLOOR.
At that moment, I felt the distinct rattle of something dying inside me. It's like
finding out your child has been permanently damaged in an accident and will never
again play the violin. He was truly lost to me; no amount of training or therapy could
overcome this stupidity. It was time to put him in a clown outfit and call it a day.