Nobody Can Eat Just One: Ewww! Dogs Eating Cat Poo
The Baggage of the Pound Puppy
She was a pound puppy - white, fluffy and cute. Her big brown eyes stared mournfully out at us from her cage at the animal shelter. And now, three weeks later, she's sleeping by our bed at night.
Her long fur is as soft as silk. Her eyes dance with mischief, both real and imagined. She has energy for two dogs. She's a two-year-old American Eskimo who even came with registration papers. We've named her Laika (pronounced "LIE-kah") after the first dog in space. The first Laika was a Russian puppy who never returned to earth. This Laika, though at times she seems a space-case, will always have her four paws firmly planted on the ground.
But all is not well with our pound puppy. As with many dogs received from animal shelters, our's comes with her own baggage. Most of her problems, like extreme shyness and ignorance of basic commands, will be taken care of in obedience class set to start in two weeks. However, her biggest problem - her addiction really - is a much more severe difficulty. It's a gross obsession, but not unheard of in dogdom.
Laika loves cat-sicles.
The Lure of the Cat-sickle
Yes, cat-sicles (like a Popsicle ice cream treat, only disgusting) are what you're probably thinking they are. Found in a cat's litter box, some dogs can't keep their minds off of them. Cat-sicles are to some dogs what chocolate is to some humans. And Laika has the canine equivalent of a chocolate fetish.
We first discovered Laika's addiction when my husband heard her crunching something near our cat's litter box. He called her over, and the tell-tale grains of litter still stuck to her black lips. She looked at him with a satisfied grin.
"We have a big problem," my husband yelled. This turned out to be a bit of an understatement.
Being humans and the more intelligent species, we decided we could stop this invasion of our cat's privacy by getting a litter box with a lid. The very next day, I went to the local pet store and found the perfect box. It would even be color coordinated with the room. I brought it home, loaded it up with litter and set it down, confident our cat-sicle problem had ended.
A day later, I heard Laika in the room where the litter box resides. It seems her addiction had overtaken her again. Before I could reach the room, she sauntered out, tail wagging, lips covered in litter.
We were not willing to admit intellectual defeat to a supposed lesser creature, so we put our minds again to the problem. We decided to turn the litter box around, so that the opening faced a corner of the room, giving enough room for the cat to enter and exit, but no room for Laika to stick her head in the opening.
All went well for several days. Laika's lips remained litter free, and it seemed the human intellect had again risen to the occasion. But after four days, I again heard Laika digging in the cat's litter box. This time I caught her red handed, or rather "mouthed."
She was walking away from the litter box with what looked to be a brown stogie with sand on it sticking straight out of her mouth. Upon seeing me, she immediately dropped the cat-sicle and her tail in the same moment. She received a verbal reprimand.
We again have set our little gray cells working on the cat-sicle wars. The solution this time is to put the litter box opening even closer to the wall. It is hoped the cat (who thankfully is very small) can still enter while keeping our addicted dog out. I hold little hope for our eventual victory.
It seems - as with humans - an addicted canine must first admit there is a problem before she can let others help her. Unfortunately, dogs don't view cat-sicles like people do. To them, such a delicacy could never be classified a disgusting problem to be talked about in whispers. And until we convince her that her addiction to cat-sicles is a problem, her desire will continually draw her back to the litter box.
And the cat-sicle wars will never end.