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Garden Salsa

Do you know why I pulled you over? asked the Dayton City cop.

The Husband doesn’t respond at first to those least favorite eight words of the wayfarer. He’s focused on going through the preliminaries of getting out his license.

Well, continues the City’s Finest. To tell you the truth, I normally wouldn’t have bothered with someone just a couple miles over the speed limit like you were. But since you passed me, I just can’t let it go.

And that’s it. A matter of maintaining street cred. We’re moving down a four lane road, this section of State Route 35, and we actually did pass this cop just as he charged. Guilty and guilty, can’t deny it.

We drove away a few minutes later with a well-rehearsed tongue lashing, not suffering ticket for our trouble. But we didn’t tell him about the precious cargo in the enclosed bed of our Chevy S-10 truck. Enough delay already.

Because we’re on our way to the only emergency veterinary clinic in the Miami Valley area.

This all came to happen a few years ago with Jack the Wonder Dog. Our impulsive, garbage overturning, dead bird eating friend. I had come home from work to find our young dog nearly unresponsive on the kitchen floor.

A panicked call to the vet’s office (His gums are white? He’s gone into shock; get him to the emergency clinic) and we wrapped the big guy in blankets and carried him to the truck for the trek across town.

A happy ending to this, as these things go. A couple of days at the emergency clinic followed by another few at our own veterinary office and he was right as rain.

If rain means three weeks of diarrhea, that is.

It still looks like butterscotch pudding, I would lament to our vet on the phone as I collected the soiled newspapers from the kitchen floor.

Then it has form, she said. That’s better.

The stinker of it all (heh. stinker) is we had no definitive idea of what he got down the gullet that brought him to this dire state of affairs. The dog had some sort of weird oral fixation and would swallow anything that could get past his tongue.

Anything, y’all. I’m not kidding.

Did you see the article this past week passed about the internet from Veterinary Practice News declaring the 2014 contest winners of “They ate WHAT?”  No? Well, take a look at what some examples of just how a pet can get your vet’s undivided attention.

I’ll wait here until you get back.

[going for donuts]

Back already? So what did you think when you saw those 43 1/2 socks that defied digestion by the three year old Great Dane?

I’ll tell you what I thought.


This past dramatic event of Jack the Wonder Dog was brought to mind as I caught Micron doing a dine and dash with my patio cherry tomatoes just a few days ago.

Hang in there, ‘lil tomater.
Just kidding.
You’re doomed.

Oh sure, I’ve heard about the shady history of the tomato, thought for many years to be toxic to humans. But we now know this to be folklore of eons past. But still, the metabolism of a canine is, in many ways, different than our delicate balance of hooman bean gut flora. It’s worth a check.

Did you know?  The ASPCA Poison Control website has a database of plants that are toxic to our beloved pets. A good site to bookmark, y’all.

I find that no, tomatoes are not toxic to the mighty Micron and his ilk. A huge relief, of course. But not so fast there, scooter.  It seems that the stems and leaves of the common tomato plant do indeed pose a potential danger.

That I did not know.

My goofy dog doesn’t have an interest in the tartness of the sticky stems of the tomato plant. Instead he focuses his efforts on the low hanging fruit.

You’d think this to be a self-correcting behavior.
And you’d be wrong. So wrong.

Things are just off the Worry Radar, until later when he moves on to the jalapeno pepper plant.


Ok, here we go again.

The good news is that, aside from the will-it-burn-twice phenomena, the jalapeno pilfered pepper popper should move smoothly through the golden retriever alimentary tract.

Although not recommended, really. To avoid stomach upset and other gastrointestinal distress, up to and including some gas attacks possibly toxic to humans watching television at the end of a tough workday, it’d be best to take away the offending pepper from the noshing canine.

Do you need some sour cream to cut that sting?, I ask The Mighty.

No, wheezes Micron. I’m good.

Right. Copy that, big guy.

Enjoy your garden salsa, my veggie stealing dog.

Wish I could.

Oh yeah … that’s good stuff.

What foods are toxic to your dog? 

Well, Micron’s version of salsa is limited to tomatoes and peppers.

Foods potentially dangerous to dogs. Click for people foods to avoid feeding your pet:

Sugar-free gum and candy (xylitol)

Other common backyard dangers to be aware of. Click for list of the top seventeen toxic plants:

Tulip & Narcissus bulbs
American Holly – leaves and berries
English ivy

Worried about something your pet has consumed? Don’t hesitate. Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline.

We are your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

Click for ASPCA’s database of toxic and non-toxic plants

About Donna Black-Sword

Lover of all things Dog.

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