It’s Not All Mary Poppins

It’s that 1% that gets you

The husband is out of town for a few days this week, and thus I am a single doggy parent. The teens? They are not so much work.

Teens certainly don’t have me out the door at six for a 45-minute walk before my first clients arrive. Not that my first clients arrive at 6:45. I know there are caregivers out there who start at 6:30 or even earlier, God love’em, but I’m not of their ilk. I am a morning person: this is why I like to savour some of it for myself.

Walking the dog is, in fact, 99% pure pleasure, particularly on a morning when the mist is rising off the plate-glass river, the swans regal as they drift by, the air a caressing blanket, soft, warm, fresh. The dog neither drifts nor caresses. She bounds, leaping with the pure joy of being alive — and then freezing, stock-still, as she spots a squirrel. She lives in never-dying hope of catching one of those things.

(It will never, ever die now that she actually has caught one of those things. Thankfully, not on my watch.)

She bounces into the long grass on the verge of the river, chomping madly. I do not know why some mornings are grass mornings, why the One Thing in the World she craves more than anything else is salad, plucked fresh from the riverbank, dressed with dew.

I particularly do not know this five minutes later, when we arrive at the racing-around-the-field-with-other-dogs part of our outing, and she bombs into the middle of the field … and horks the whole thing up again.

Well, not quite the whole thing. The rest she saved for the dining room. An moist heap of pureed greens, a long greenish puddle oozing away from it on one side, along the nothing-is-100%-true-in-a-century-old-house floor.

As I said, 99% pure pleasure.

August 11, 2009 - Posted by | random and odd | , , , ,


  1. I think one of the reasons dogs eat grass is when they have an upset stomach. Once she chucks it up, she’ll feel better.

    Dogs also eat grass when they think they need more fiber, but yours sounds like the upset-stomach variety.

    Comment by Nev | August 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. I agree with Nev – I was always taught that if a dog ate grass then their stomach was unsettled. It helps them…ahem…get whatever upset their tummy up and out. My dog usually aims for the most expensive carpet in the house. How do they know?

    Comment by Paige | August 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. I used to think it was because of tummy upset; but we have two dogs that graze like sheep, daily. They never chuck it up.

    Comment by Connie | August 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. It seems to be both a purgative and a dietary thing. This link had the best explanation that I could find.

    Boils down to this: Vets aren’t entirely sure, but their best guesses are twofold.

    1. Because dogs evolved as scavengers, not hunters, they can (and will!) eat just about anything. A healthy dog will eat grass, and will not throw it up, generally because they nibble it carefully. (Why do they eat it? Because they like the taste? because they need certain nutrients? Jury’s out on that.)

    2. A dog with a tummy upset will wolf it down madly — and puke it right up. It’s a way for a dog to get rid of some questionable thing they ate, or just because they feel the need to puke. (I understand that: you know how, when you have the stomach flu, you feel SO MUCH BETTER immediately after you vomit?)

    So there. Why Dogs Eat Grass.

    Comment by MaryP | August 12, 2009 | Reply

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