Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dog treats -- natural and otherwise

Lucy, my daughter's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, has a big appetite for a little dog. All summer long, she hung out at the base of the fig tree, consuming by far the biggest share of our fig crop. Then, the other day, she had her eye on the fruits of the tangelo tree. Maybe she recognized something edible, or maybe she was just excited to find so many tennis-ball lookalikes clustered in one spot.

Kadi's favorite find-it-yourself treats are the pecans that fall into our yard sometimes (but not this year) from the neighbor's tree just on the other side of the fence. When there's a good pecan crop, Kadi will spend an entire afternoon outdoors, cracking the shells in her jaws and carefully picking out and eating the nutmeats. Butch likes them, too, but not enough to crack them for himself.

One year, when pecans had been plentiful, I bought myself a box of Jordan almonds to snack on while I watched TV. Butch and Kadi appeared at my feet seconds after I sat down with the candy, so I gave each of them one candy-coated almond. Butch stood beside me, crunched three or four times, and his was gone. Kadi took hers around to the other side of the coffee table, lay down where I couldn't see her, and stayed there for several minutes. Every now and then she'd raise her head and look at me with a quizzical expression on her face, then she'd duck down behind the table and get back to business.

Curiosity got the better of me. I got up and walked around to see what was taking Kadi so long. Finally, I understood the problem. Kadi held the almond between her paws. On the carpet in front of her was a neat little pile of pink candy shell pieces she'd expertly--and tediously--removed from the nut.

Silly Kadi.


  1. Velvet,

    I LOVE your tales of canines carrying-on.

    My old dog, Maggie, loved all kinds of natural things: garlic, strawberries, grapes, grapefruit, avocado, oranges and tomatoes were all favorties. We all thorized she had been left in a yard full of California fruit trees.


  2. Oh that's wonderful! Ellie loves raw vegetables of all kinds and begs pitifully whenever I'm cutting anything up. Carmon

  3. What a sweetie that Kadi is! I'm amazed that she didn't melt the sugar coating as she was removing it - quite the delicate little lady!

  4. OMG, the timing of your post. Cheyenne is nuts about pecans as well (Ha! pun unintended). She cracks the shells and picks out the good bits with a patience seen nowhere else in her behavior. And almonds? Just last night she got into the bag of almonds that Carl cooked for me for Thanksgiving. Got into? That's too tame. She ate the entire bag. Sigh. :-)

  5. I love this post!! Imagine Kadi being so fastidious. And throwing away the best part!

    This post put a smile on my face. Thank you!

  6. Creekhiker and Carmon, I've seen other dogs like fresh vegetables, too, but mine really don't. Kadi likes banana slices; Butch will take them but spit them out. Kadi chewed and swallowed a piece of fig but didn't seem interested in having more of them. Butch spit his out. Both of them sit at my feet and beg for cooked lima beans.

    Sunflower and Janet, it tickled me that Kadi took the shell off, but it shouldn't have surprised me. Her purpose in life seems to be to make sure all dogs and all people do exactly what they're supposed to do, when they're supposed to do it, without deviating from routine. You should see her eyes roll when one of the pups is misbehaving.

    Alison, I can picture the look on Cheyenne's face when you discovered what she'd done. You've gotta at least give her credit for being resourceful.;-)

  7. Cappy eats carrots in place of doggie treats most often. He's a veggie kinda guy. The kitty Bella (6 months old) scarfed up a bit of yams that i dropped. I wrote once about her snatching a marshmallow and running with a big white puff in her mouth. they do the silliest things and cause the biggest smiles followed by, oh this'll be in my blog tomorrow. I've gotta write about this.

    your fur babies are too sweet.

  8. Austin, my daughter's little Lucy will eat ANYTHING--including inedible objects. It's easy to spot which poop in the grass is hers, because it's always filled with twigs or tiny pieces of bright-colored soft plastic from toys she's consumed.


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