By Grant McGee: Local columnist
The family dogs are named Jessie and Tilly. Jessie is the shepherd mix, Tilly is an Airedale.
Their dominion is the back room and back yard. We would let them into the rest of the house to join the family but Tilly has forgotten she was housebroken. The Lady of the House and I have decided when Jessie and Tilly “move to south Florida” that it will be a long time before we have dogs again.
“Move to south Florida” is our nice way of saying “pass away.”
One morning recently I was spooning the dogs’ canned food out on to their plates and I got to thinking about dogs and the stuff they eat.
After hanging around canines I’ve determined their place in nature is to look for smelly things and chew up bones. If they don’t have bones to chew on then they look for other things: a down comforter here, a wallet complete with money and credit cards there. Then there was that dog that chewed a handle off a vintage iron skillet.
I used to live with a pack of vegetarian dogs. Whenever I was in the kitchen, all four of them hovered around. When I fixed something with cabbage, I used to toss the outer leaves and core to them. They snapped in the air to get the stuff, every single dog seeming to regard each hunk as a treat.
Then I moved and took two of the dogs to the new house. Once I got settled in and started cooking again I tossed cabbage parts over my shoulder to the dogs behind me. I turned around to find the leaves all over the kitchen floor and the dogs giving me a look. “What’s this stuff?” they seemed to say. “We only ate it before because the other dogs did.”
Dogs won’t eat everything you toss at them though. One time I decided to try tofu dogs instead of hot dogs. I fired up the barbecue and tossed the tofu dogs on the grill.
I couldn’t really tell when they were done; they didn’t fry up like meat weenies: No bubbling and popping, no sputtering and spitting and no aroma. After a while I decided they were probably ready for eating. I put one on a bun, put a little mustard on it and bit into it hungrily. My chewing began to slow down as the pasty gunk began to fill my mouth. To this day I have a color associated with tofu dogs: gray, nothing exciting about them. And to boot, the guys who made them decided they needed to taste similar to hot dogs. They didn’t get that right. Wet cardboard comes to mind. I realized I had just wasted about three bucks on these things.
I should have known something was wrong; my dogs weren’t hanging around the grill. So I called them over and they came running and panting. I tossed each of them a tofu dog. They caught them, held them in their mouths for the briefest bit then dropped them on the ground. The dogs stared at the tofu dogs, then looked up at me as if I had insulted them deeply.
Dogs like smelly things; that might help you understand some of the weird things they eat. It’s also why they won’t eat tofu dogs. But then, neither will I.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: