Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Hungriest Dog

Angie had a dog named Shade, before I came to live with her.  Shade was a small, black lab, and she was 3 years old when Angie rescued her from a shelter.  She had lived for a long time on the street – a stray dog who probably ate from trash cans, dumpsters, and anything that she found lying on the streets.  Even though she was fed in the shelter, and when she came to Angie’s house, she always acted like she was afraid she would never eat again.

Shade was a search dog, not on rubble, but in parks, woods, and other places where people could get lost.  Just like me, she would bark when she found somebody.  Guess what her reward was?  Food, and a toy.  She liked both, and if Angie gave her just one, she wanted the other.  So first she got food (and she did not care what kind of food it was), and then a big orange bumper that she liked to retrieve.

When Angie was training Shade, she had to tell her many times to “leave it’” because that dog would put anything in her mouth…empty bags of chips, left-over chicken bones, and even small animals like rats. One time during training, Shade had a tail dangling from her mouth when she found the person who was hiding. That is disgusting!

Angie tells a story about how one Thanksgiving while nobody was looking, Shade took an entire mincemeat pie off the counter and ate it.  Another time, when she went to visit one of Angie’s friends, she ate a plate of lemon bars.  And another time, when she should have been waiting her turn to meet a trainer, she ate half of a chocolate cake and several donuts.  You can see that dog would eat anything!

The most dangerous thing happened when Shade was staying with one of Angie’s friends.  She found some medicine at the bottom of a backpack, chewed the bottle, and swallowed all of the medicine.  She was so sick that she almost needed an operation.  Angie’s friend felt terrible that this happened.  She thought the backpack was empty. Remember, keep all medicine away from pets. 

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