Home > Our pets > Our dogs and fruit

Our dogs and fruit

Damaris has just come in from the garden. Our dogs have been eating all the tomatoes and strawberries again. They just walk past a bush and browse on its contents. It started when we were back in England. The oldest dog, Newton, would follow me around observing what I ate. I realised this when he started eating loganberries off of the bush we had.

The other key to him observing was with the grapes. Perhaps foolishly I gave him a grape. Having a soft mouth, as retrievers do, it wasn’t in his nature to bite the grape so he just sat there with it in his mouth looking a bit lost. Then he saw me bite mine and that was it. Grape eaten – can I have some more, please, master?

It’s not like their short of fluid – we’ve just had water-melon for lunch and they had a fair share of that off of us, too. Water-melon is probably the favourite although apples go down well, too. Pascal, the retriever we had to have put down in January (cancer of the spine) was once clocked as having eaten 10 apples in an afternoon. My own suspicion was that he ate the over-ripe fallers which had just started to ferment and which, I would guess, tasted (and were) a bit like a mild scrumpy. He certainly slept after one of these apple binges.

Categories: Our pets Tags: ,
  1. August 23, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Very interesting blog. What a journey you and your family are on. Love to see some pics of your dogs! Good luck with your health!

  2. umbriadude
    August 23, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Thank you, Leaming. Our hounds are irrepressible and I shall be uploading some photos shortly. If you’d like to see a photo of the house before we really got things underway, go to http://www.italyhouse.co.uk

    I don’t know if you’ve been to Umbria, but this is a million miles from anywhere (part of its charm for me). We’re just a few miles up into the mountains from Assisi.

    We have 3 dogs – 1 Golden Retriever (now getting on in years), 1 mongrel who looks like no other dog I’ve ever seen and another one which is a bit like a Spinone. The way the Italians (generally) view their pets – “you work or you feed us” – is the main thing we have to choke on (being British). We shock people by telling them that our mutts sleep in the house – if we said that they sleep on the floor of our bedroom, I dread to think what reaction we would get. They chain their dogs up outside all year round (and we hit -12C this winter).

    I’ve finally got time for this blog so it will be ongoing. I plan to be a bit radical when the mood takes me, for example, I will expose the hype that is Italian food (extremely UN-healthy).

    Drop by again soon.

  3. August 23, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Hi again. (just to let you know, my name is Leaming- pronounced “lee-ming” if that makes it easier. my close friends call me Ming) I had to cringe when you said the dogs are all chained outside. I guess they would freak out if they knew my Corgi slept on our bed šŸ™‚ Hope you were able to see some pics of our dogs on our website.

    Looks like a beautiful country in Umbria. I have been to Rome, Florence, Venice and Cinque Terra. I would like one day to get back to Rome and see Tuscany.

    I love food. I will be interested to hear your take on Italian food. I can seem to give up rice (and I’m Asian) but pasta is another story.

  4. umbriadude
    August 23, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Sorry about getting the name wrong, Ming. I’ve corrected it now (my old eyes aren’t what they were).

    Obviously it is dangerous to say ‘all are …’ because history has taught us what happens when we do that. All I can say with respect to our Umbrian neighbours and their pets is to comment on what I see – obviously there are going to be exceptions (before anyone blasts me from here to eternity).

    I’ll say more on the blog proper. I haven’t had much time today – been sorting out my main site.

    The first house we bought in Italy was also in hunting territory (that’s the root cause of the problem). Hunters are a funny, secretive lot. One proudly showed my wife a songthrush he had shot (Make-a-da-good-eating) and they will do anything to protect what they perceive is their territory (which could well be your garden).

    Going back to this first house. There was someone there who would put out poisoned meat for anyone else’s dogs to find. We had an account of a dog which had been taken straight to the vets but still took 2 days to die in a lot of pain. It isn’t a nice way to go. Fortunately we got out before ours were hurt although I still had problems with our Sardinian neighbour throwing stones at them.

    Most dogs in Umbria are kept either for protection or for hunting wild boar (of which there are quite a few around here – we’ve even had some go past our house). Dogs which hunt them are kept chained up or caged the rest of the time and not allowed to socialise or even go for a walk. When they are let out, they have to run miles chasing the boar which they eventually tear apart if they aren’t first (several dogs a year are gored to death).

    As a result of not being socialised, local dogs often bite. Consequently any visitor thinks that ours will, too. To end on a funny note, I remember a courier standing on one leg at our door(how would that help him?) in absolute terror as one of our retrievers brought him my shoe and then rolled over.

    I shall visit your site tomorrow and may well drop you a blog accordingly.

    Don’t talk to me about pasta!

    Maybe see you out here one day.

  5. August 26, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Just to let you know, my Vet told me to not give my dogs grapes as it causes renal failure. Of course this is after I was throwing grapes at them and they were scarfing them down.

  6. umbriadude
    August 26, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Noted. We don’t give them many – only ever one or two at a time but we won’t do it again.

    I’m not sure how it will work next year when our vines start producing (they didn’t this year as we cut them back dramatically – the first pruning they’d seen in 20 years probably) and our dogs start helping themselves!

  7. umbriadude
    September 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    It’s late September and we’re still picking strawberries – at least we would be if our three hounds hadn’t eaten them off the plants first. Another favourite trick is scoffing our tomatoes and also the figs – they love figs. I’m sure this is bad for them but you can’t control them all the time and, if they go out, they will do what they will.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: