Some animals are not discriminating about what they consume. Sharks, for one. I’ve read that some large sharks when caught and their stomach contents were examined might have eaten everything from seals to surf boards. Certain cartoon bears (Yogi and Boo-boo) steal picnic baskets, but real bears in Yosemite or Yellowstone have to be deterred from feasting on campers’ sandwiches by “bear boxes”. Dexter’s distant relatives, coyotes have raised alarm even in my semi-suburban neighborhood when they catch an unwary kitty or snack on an early rising neighbor’s Shih Tzu.
Some years ago I had a one-eyed raccoon and his buddy spend a (Southern California) winter evening in my garage snacking on cat food. Neighborhood lore still revels in gopher-hunting cats, now all sadly passed-on, nightly laying in wait for opportunity. In the morning, one would periodically leave an offering on my doormat.
And then there are dogs. Once upon a time, I believed a dog would eat most anything. When I volunteered at the Humane Society eons ago, one middle-aged German Shepherd, whose elderly mistress went into a nursing home, had to be retrained to eat dog food. To turn him back into a dog. Why? Because he had been fed McDonalds much of his life. My own pets when I, myself, was counting pennies and not eating well, used to get canned Alpo, or Purina dry food, with table scraps or bacon grease to enhance them. Thirty years later, my family and of course, Dexter and Comet eat better. Both animals camp out in the kitchen. Sometimes their supervision is rewarded with scrap after dinner or my errors during preparation.
Yesterday evening I fed the guys some bacon -grease enhanced dog chow. Coming home last night from a Bible study I found bits of aluminum foil, paper towel and a larger, licked-clean piece of foil in the living room. I foolishly left the waste bin in the kitchen instead of the garage tonight. Comet’s compulsion, again. But bacon, I can understand. I wolf down bacon. So why not a domesticated wolf?
Some things take seeing to believe. One evening this week I was cutting up a mango to pack for my lunch. This is one fruit that takes skill, which I do not naturally possess, to avoid rendering the whole thing a mash.
Using a spoon to scoop the fruit, a chunk of mango flew off and onto the floor. With ninja moves, Comet shifted, inhaled, licked the floor and returned to his pre-slurp stance. Hmm. Did I imagine the whole thing?
Dexter, however, is not interested in such things. All his deft moves are focused on biscuits. Reminding me where they are kept -by banging on the cabinet. Pushing his half-eaten bowl into the middle of the room. Hiding a biscuit under one of his toys in the living room. (To collect a second one.)