The Tale of Why I Don’t Ever Eat Cheez-its

Warning: this post talks about dogs eating poop. It’s actually mostly about dogs eating poop.

My dog eats poop. I don’t even know if she has discerning taste, or if she just eats whatever poop she finds. It seems to come and go with her moods, as she will go weeks or months without eating any, then suddenly go on an enormous binge of turd tasting. We have two dogs, and the other one doesn’t eat poop, it’s just the big German shepherd mix, Maizie. (The dog my wife willed to her.)

It’s gross, I know. But I also know that Maizie is not alone in the dog world for her horrible habit. We’ve tried all sorts of things to get her to stop, but she still trucks onward, flopping a random piece into her gullet just when you think she’s over it. For all of you who don’t know about this, don’t own dogs, or don’t even particularly like dogs, just know that this is not actually all that unusual. Dogs will eat almost anything.

With Maizie, I’ve not actually understood her motivations for eating. She seems to have preferences for certain things. For instance, she LOVES those bacon-shaped dog treats. She can hear you open up a package from miles away, and come rushing to the kitchen, ready to snatch the entire bag out of your hand, cut it up on a mirror and snort it like some desperate addict. But if you gently offer a piece, she swallows it like a pill. Seriously. The treat is in her mouth for maybe a nanosecond. Why the desperation? I know she’s well fed. I mean, isn’t part of the enjoyment of eating tasting the food? I’ve certainly been assaulted by her tongue with affection enough times to know that there is plenty of room for tasting things on the huge flap of flesh.

So, I’m sure that there are some more astute dog owners who are reading this and think they have the solution to Maizie’s dookie eating, and I assure you, you don’t. We’ve tried everything from training to medications, you know, things to make turds taste bad to her (yes, I was surprised that someone thought to invent a powder that, when added to food, will make poop taste bad as well. You’d kinda think that sort of invention wouldn’t ever leave the inspired person’s notebook, yet, here we are, living in a world where I make less money than someone who thought to make a dog food additive that makes shit taste bad.) We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we’ve got a loving, caring, smart, wonderful, beautiful dog…and she just likes to chomp on poop every now and again.

So what does this have to do with Cheez-its?

Well, Cheez-its once held a place in my mind as a clever little flat Goldfish cracker that is convenient, has a nice little “fresh from the can” cheese taste and aroma, and is in convenient, never-satiating, sized to-go packs. It ranked in there as one of the top snacks in my book to eat if you’re ever bored, slightly hungry, and never actually want to feel full. In other words: a staple of an American diet.

In my getting to know Maizie during her ten years thus far on this planet, she has proven to have vacuum cleaner in her genetics. No, her culinary palate is not limited to shit, she also enjoys, well, literally everything. She has eaten shoes, child lock gates, ovens, and even a pair of glasses. If it was in reach and seemed like it would fit in her mouth, at one point in her life she would at least try it before spitting it out. To this day, if you wave something enthusiastically enough in front of her snout, she will assume it is food and get mondo excited about it. If I waved a bicycle in the air and said “WANNA TREAT?” she would wag and spin in excited circles until you tossed that bike right at her head.

So, here’s what Cheez-its have to do with my dog…

A few years back, my wife and I crammed ourselves into a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor of a building without an elevator with two dogs who needed walked quite often. This was about the same time we realized that Maizie had a taste for turds. There were plenty of other dogs living around the complex, and I’d say 90% of their owners had no concept of the skill of cleaning up after their dog. It was almost to the point where I gave up on picking up my own dogs’ poop, because they’d do their little spinning routine, drop their package, and I’d lean over to pick it up only to be a little confused as to which one to pick up, as there were so many choices ((I would occasionally grab a cold one (not a beer, obviously) and then shutter as I knew that I’d just traded turd duties (or doodies, if you must) with the owner of some strange dog)). And occasionally, just to add to my horror, I’d be picking up a poop and while I was busy, Maizie would fling another poop into her mouth while I was too busy grabbing turds to stop her. It seemed like a cruel bait and switch. “Here dad, you pick up this poop I made while I pick up this other poop with my tongue!”

She’s lucky she’s beautiful.

On the first floor of the same apartment lived a large family with a bunch of kids. And the parents never seemed to be all that into the whole discipline thing. They kinda just let their kids run and scream in the hallway, slam doors, and spread their various snack foods around as their pleased. I wasn’t fond of that family, but Maizie loved them, because they always left the various snack foods around. To a dog like Maizie, these rugrats were like Santa’s elves, delivering tidings of sugary snack food to graze over while both entering and exiting the apartment.

As I’ve established, Maizie will eat anything.

But then, a kid had spilled Cheez-its on the floor. And then stepped on them. And then possibly rolled in them. I really wasn’t sure how that many Cheez-its could be spread out over that large of an area in that many various sizes and shapes and shards without some amount of planning. When I first came down the stairs, I thought, “Damn, Maizie. they just set out a buffet for you, didn’t they?” I shrugged, as there was no way around them, save jumping out of the second story window with two dogs. So, we pressed on, my hand tightened on the leash, ready to use all of my strength to get the fat dog past the buffet so she could go potty and then hit the poop buffet outside.

As we walked, nay, sauntered through the Cheez-it spread crushed thoroughly into the carpet, Maizie sniffed, and wagged, and sniffed, and wagged…

…and then just moved on. NO interest WHATSOEVER.

I was befuddled, flabbergasted, appalled, confused…everything. I almost led her back to the crumbled snack spread and tried to tell her that those…were Cheez-its…and those taste good. Instead, we went about our routine, and she snacked on a big, messy turd.

She liked the turds…she liked everything…yet…Cheez-its are rejected? I’d never seen the dog reject anything before in my life.

And honestly, when we went back in the apartment, I went more slowly through the Cheez-it war zone, just to give her another chance at them. Not because I wanted her to start eating Cheez-its as much as it was that I wanted the last thing she ate not to be poop.

And, once again, she turned her nose up at the Cheez-its. Nothing. No interest. If I had offered her the bicycle at the time, she would’ve taken it. Being the last piece in a human centipede would be this dog’s dream, yet…

…no Cheez-its. Never.

This, my friends, is why I reject Cheez-its. If a dookie-loving dog won’t eat them, then neither will I.

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