ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fruit Eating Dogs

Updated on February 4, 2013

Durian, oh no!


Papaya, sala, mango, longkong, lychees, jackfruit, mangosteen, guava, custard apple, banana, durian ………………..  These are just a few of the favourite fruits of the canine branch of our household.  – Okay, hold it right there, did you say DURIAN? I can hear the question palpably from here.  It stinks though, surely dogs won’t eat durian! 

For those of you unfamiliar with the durian fruit, Durio zibethinus to give it its correct Latin name, it is a native of the Far East, probably originating in Malaysia, and it’s greatest distinguishing quality is its putrid odour.  And I mean ‘putrid’!  It is banned from most airlines and many hotels, which is evidence enough to shows how offensive the smell is.  But our dogs love it and will grovel, as only Labradors can grovel for a taste of its delicious flesh.  For delicious it is and it has a custardy consistency when eaten.  Also very nutritious, though somewhat oily, so don’t eat too much.

Tessa and Pippa are immigrant canines who accompanied my husband and me to Thailand three years ago when we took early retirement.  They’d been working gun dogs on the farm my husband worked in Wiltshire and had known only a very free and exciting life chasing the usual rabbits, hares, rats and the occasional cat that was silly enough to stray into their territory across acres of open fields.  In the winter months they went into gun dog mode and were the envy of many a good friend on the shoots in which we partook.  Both worked exceptionally well and we were truly proud of them. 

When it came to a change of lifestyle, we were not so sure if a move to Thailand for them was a wise decision, but after much soul searching and heartache, decided we loved them too much to be parted from them.  We would make every endeavour to make their lives as happy, comfortable and interesting as we could.  We knew something of the countryside around the house we’d bought and could see no reason why they shouldn’t adapt to it fairly easily.  The house was in the middle of a village and in a rural setting similar to the one we were leaving.  Apart from the climate that is, and the palm trees of course.  Wiltshire is not exactly renown for its humid tropical atmosphere is it!  Rain of monsoon proportions at times, yes.  Hot, no!

Welcome or Not?  Their arrival was heralded by snarls and barks from the local dog population, but the girls soon put them in their place.  Neither are aggressive dogs, they’re Labradors for heavens sake!  the most noble and gentle of the canine race.  But Tessa had been known to hospitalize our friends’ dog on two occasions when the arrogant creature had had the audacity to claim her pheasant she’d just picked up!  From the look in her eyes and the set of her teeth on both occasions, she would have fought to the death to secure her bird.  Her honour and her divine rights were at stake here!  So these village curs soon buckled down to the domination of this superior Angrit (English to the Thais, or Farang, meaning ‘Western foreigner’ if you wish) Alpha female in their midst.  Pippa on the other hand, had never had to show her authority, she just KNEW she was the younger boss alongside her Mother Tessa!

Doggy humour!

Oh you know I'm a starving Labrador! (Courtesy of Bryn Parry studios).
Oh you know I'm a starving Labrador! (Courtesy of Bryn Parry studios).
Hang on!  I haven't finished my breakfast yet!
Hang on! I haven't finished my breakfast yet!
The escapee Pheasant! (courtesy of Bryn Parry Studios)
The escapee Pheasant! (courtesy of Bryn Parry Studios)

Avian Friends and allies.

The transformation from plain meat eaters to fruit and meat eaters came about rapidly and within weeks of our arrival.  Our first few weeks here saw us trotting around all the local markets and buying up huge quantities of all the wonderful fruits on display.  But we forgot one thing; we no longer had family and friends popping in to share these goodies with.  Not wanting to waste any of these treasures, we began giving little titbits to Tessa and Pip.  To our surprise, these two dogs, which had looked upon fruit with the greatest disdain in England, now developed a passion for all things fruity, to the point of stealing it off the sideboard if necessary! 

They had comrades in arms in their thieving, our resident mynah birds, Acridotheres tristis.  They of the bouncy walk and the cheeky look!  Bovver boys incarnate!  We’ve no idea how many of the little bandits are lodging in our roof, but they all think our kitchen is fair game if we forget to pull the screen doors or window screens across.  Our biggest mistake was leaving the dry dog biscuits in their dish by the kitchen door.  We’d always fed the dogs this way in England.  But “wow!  Free food on tap”, they chirped; and word soon spread, so that we had all the family darting in and out for a snack until it was drawn to our attention by their raucous voices as they quarrelled over who would have certain flavours or which juicy fruit.  Football hooligans have nothing on Mynah birds for sheer mischief and naughtiness.  What fruit the dogs didn’t steal, the Mynahs did, and the dogs were quite happy to share their plunder with these louts of the avian world!  They didn’t chase them away like they did the magpies, cats or rats at the farm.  Oh no, they just lay there on the cool tiles sleeping soundly; occasionally opening one eye to make sure the thieves were not taking too many liberties.  I could almost swear the one eye was blinked in a wink!

So the dry food regime had to undergo a severe change and the ‘girls’ had to be content with one good meal a day.  We varied this of course with tinned meat; chicken and offal from the market, rice  and not forgetting the fruits.  Rice being the staple food crop in this part of Asia, is cheap and abundant.  And to my delight, the inventive Thais have produced an electric rice cooker which, when filled with the required amount of rice and water and switched on, will cook itself and stay light and fluffy.  You can leave it on all day and it doesn’t spoil or go cold.  All my life I’ve battled with ‘gooey’ rice, much to the amusement of my kids and family.  I’ve even had hands-on demonstrations from some of my more sympathetic students, and still can not do it. Oh joy, oh bliss to find this invention here!  It’s so simple now! 

And have you actually read the ingredients on dog food tins – well, meat and rice seems to be the main ingredients.  So, if that’s the case, let’s not fill the pockets of the dog food manufacturers, let’s do it ourselves I thought.  Tinned dog food is expensive in comparison.  But it does make a change for these beloved and spoilt creatures, so we don’t cook for them all the time I might add.

Their uncouth friends the Mynah birds on the other hand, no longer partake in their food all day, but have to be content with us putting fruit out for them.  We have a super-abundance of bananas now that the trees have decided to fruit, so if we aren’t quick enough with the parang, they soon recognise the ripening bananas and proceed to demolish them at an astonishing rate.  Again with great squeals of delight which alert us to their capers!  But in this assault, they’re joined by a more graceful, but equally greedy little charmer, the Yellow Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotis goiavier), a very common bird in our garden and one that breeds prodigiously.  This year alone, 5 nests close to the house, with 15 eggs over several sittings, and to our knowledge, only 3 unsuccessful fledglings.  Not a bad Spring average!  We need to grow bananas just to keep them, the canines and the Mynahs fed really.

But back to the fruit eating dogs.  A footnote to the purchased dog food.  On reading the labels, vitamins and minerals are evidently added to the foods.  We think that the consumption of so much fruit by our dogs must equal whatever they add to the manufactured food, so once again feel we’re on a winning wicket here.  And you may be asking, does so much fruit cause diarrhoea in the beloved hounds?  Well no, their faeces is normal and a good colour.  We don’t give them copious quantities of fruit, I might add, just snacks when we’re eating it ourselves.  We could have a big problem if unlimited consumption was the case, but it isn’t.  The only faeces I complain volubly about is that of the badly behaved Mynah birds who, having gained access to the house when we aren’t vigilant, proceed to poo over everything in their vain attempts to locate the fruits and dog food they’re convinced we’re keeping from them!

Long may we be entertained by our dogs and the local birds.  They’re all such marvellous characters and each deserves an article to themselves.  Well, maybe one day……………………………..


Tessa, how’s your typing paw?  Back to work girl.  Retired?  Who said?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • marimccants profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice article. I love it.

    • Mountain Blossoms profile imageAUTHOR

      Marianne Kellow 

      9 years ago from SE Thailand

      Thank you Montana Farm Girl for your valued comments. In the UK our Labradors loved rolling in badger poo - try and get that smell out! phew its really awful. But they love it like you say, the stinkier the better.

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 

      9 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      Dogs love anything stinky!!! My female lab, Pinky....the stinkier the better!!! And they all love to roll in!!!! I have tried several fruits with all our dogs, seems strawberries are a good choice... bananas, not so much. Clever hub...:-)

    • Mountain Blossoms profile imageAUTHOR

      Marianne Kellow 

      9 years ago from SE Thailand

      Hi dohn121, thank you for your lovely comments and good luck with your 'nuggets'.

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Once I ate frozen Durian in front of my girlfriend while watching TV. She had to pinch her nose closed while I was doing so. Oh, wait, she's now my ex-girlfriend...

      About your Fruit-eating Labs, my sister has a Pekingese that loves bananas on occasion but they must be ripe and practically brown. I actually have a picture of her on my 55-Word Story hub. I really do enjoy reading your hubs as they are a real treat, kind of like Durian without the putrid odor!

    • Mountain Blossoms profile imageAUTHOR

      Marianne Kellow 

      9 years ago from SE Thailand

      Must admit we're all durian fans in this house. There's nothing like it is there. Thank you for your comments, it's enjoyable writing these articles.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 

      9 years ago from South East Asia

      I like Durian Ice Cream and have tried four different types of Durian. A friend of mine described the taste as a mix of white chocolate and onions and he was not far wrong.

      Interesting Hub...thank you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)