Sitting in the capacity of senior member of this motley little pack, I am in a position to observe and comment about our behaviors and foibles. And so, dear reader, lest I offend any of you more sensitive sorts, let me warn now that what I am about to reveal will definitely be off-putting. I am not exploring this region of dog behavior because I wish to shock or horrify, but rather to inform and educate. While this particular “indulgence” is one with which I have had no familiarity, it is something I now fully recognize but abhor.
Daphne, Grandma and Grandpa’s French bulldog puppy, is an aficionado of coprophagia…the eating of feces. Yes, dear heart, it has a name…a medical name because it is in fact a medical condition. No longer must this repulsive habit be unspoken or, at best, whispered about among only the closest of friends. It must be openly discussed and examined. Vets disagree about the reasons for such a predilection and there are as many “cures” as there are reasons. Grandma has added Adolph’s meat tenderizer to our food, mixed pumpkin in all of our bowls, sprayed all of the stools with Sour Apple but with no success. We are now going to have pineapple added to our diet because supposedly that produces a highly unpalatable taste to our waste. I am not holding my breath on this either. Several theories suggest a vitamin deficiency as the cause, but after our vet thoroughly checked Daphne out, that was quickly eliminated. It is a highly unlikely cause for most dogs today since we are fed such perfectly balanced and nutritious diets. Another theory posited is that it is an acquired or learned behavior. Since neither Daphne’s mother nor littermates have that habit, then we can assume that theory is false.
So, poor beleaguered Grandma and Grandpa rush about frantically, with their state of the art “pooper scooper,” through poison ivy and brambles, trying to capture whatever any of the four of us deposit before Daphne can do “clean up in aisle four.”
When Daphne was in puppy class and one of the puppies decided the middle of the floor was as good a place as any to relieve himself, Grandma made a startling discovery. She, as a joke, told the owner that rather than clean it up she could turn Daphne loose. Almost every owner confessed their puppy liked that particular delicacy too, but they had been too ashamed and embarrassed to share this information. Grandma was dumbfounded learning this. Even the trainer said some of his own dogs enjoyed that activity.
As it stands now, Daphne no longer enjoys what she makes, but certainly seeks out Cecile’s, Lizzie’s, and mine. Grandma is covered in poison ivy, and Grandpa looks like Lucy in the candy factory episode of “I Love Lucy,” trying to capture the poops of three pugs, all squatting in different directions of the yard simultaneously, before Daphne “beats him to the punch,” so to speak.
We would welcome any and all comments on this one, folks, but for now kisses from Daphne are avoided.