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Dogs love dessert, too


I gave him my ice cream bowl.

I know they say you shouldn’t give dogs ice cream. But it was just the empty bowl with a coating of coffee ice cream that I couldn’t get with a spoon. Really, how could that be dangerous?

Ollie was watching my every move, anticipating the moment I would finish and set the bowl on the floor, although only on rare occasions does he get ice cream. I wasn’t going to disappoint him this time. He pushed the bowl under my chair, the spoon clanking. He kept at it until every trace of ice cream was gone.

Of course, I feel that way about ice cream, too. It’s too good to let any of it go to waste. I scrape the carton clean and make sure there’s nothing left on the lid where there’s often enough to fill half a spoon.

When you like something so much, it seems only right to share it, even if it’s your dog, and you’re told it’s not a good idea.

I checked on the internet just to be certain what I recall being told was for real or just the imagination of an overly cautious pet lover who will go unnamed. I was surprised by what I found – a long discourse on what dogs can and shouldn’t eat, from raspberries to pickles, coconut, chocolate, almonds, shrimp and poppy seeds.

I read the sentence, “And since most dogs are lactose intolerant, that means that your dog can get really sick if their body isn’t able to properly digest that lactose.” It jumped off the page.

The common symptoms of canine lactose intolerance include gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset according to the article. With the exception of regurgitated grass, which for some reason he likes eating, and occasional toots followed by noxious odors, Ollie would not seem to be lactose intolerant.

Our previous companion, a mixed breed of greyhound and Doberman, had a passion for ice cream. We thought nothing of giving him the empty carton that he would eagerly lick before chewing it to bits to get every essence to vanilla or pistachio, which was his favorite. Binky had refined taste. Ollie, on the other hand, is more about the food. He’s just as attentive about a crust of bread or the chance to lick clean the bowl used for scrambled eggs as an ice cream dish.

With wide, begging eyes he’ll follow the path of each fork full from plate to mouth if you let him. He knows the rule not to beg at dinner and waits anxiously for the moment when the fork scrapes against the plate and he’ll get the leftovers, if any. Then he’s at attention.

But I’ve noticed lately, he’s especially alert when it comes to dessert. There’s no question he loves ice cream. He drools for it. He watches my every move; ever hopeful I’ll give him my bowl. And if I don’t he’ll sniff it out in the dishwasher if we’re not careful.

He’s a dog after my heart, even though after my research on the internet, I suspect we’re paying for it when a noxious smell fills the room and he doesn’t as much as open an eye from his peaceful sleep. Maybe it’s time for him to try pistachio.


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