Sunday, April 1, 2012

The earthy bouquet of Fescue

Yaxley looks upon his grassy expanse
A gorgeous summer day. And one of those workdays that we find it rather torturous to be chained to a desk, so a fine time to eat lunch outside at the picnic area. Fresh lunch meat sandwiches, purty butterflies flitting about and a handful of us are enjoying watching our dogs at play. Ah, 'tis a peaceful lunch hour.

So what is your dog? asks my co-worker and fellow puppy raiser.

What? I ask while trying not spit a Subway ham and cheese when I talk, do you mean what breed is she?  She's a full Labrador retriever.

Are you sure? he asks.

Oh, for the love of . . . Yeah, I'm sure, I reply, getting unreasonably annoyed. Why?

Because it appears she may have some cow in her, he says.

Huh?

I move my eyes over to the lovely Inga in all her ethereal Labrador beauty. And see that indeed she's binging upon the lawn like a cow busting out of an ill fated Weight Watchers program.  Gaa!, says I, actually losing some of my ham sub this time,  Inga! Leave it!

What is it with dogs and grass anyway? I thought that left to their own resources dogs preferred more odoriferous offerings such as an overturned kitchen garbage can.  Or heaven forbid, that elusive delicacy that is goose poop. Why this precision manicured lawn?

Oh, theories abound on this subject from all styles of experts (upset stomachs, instinctual need, dietary imbalance, the call of the wild) which really means that only dogs know the true appeal.  Some eat grass, then toss it back up later on your precious oriental rug.  Others process it through without even a cursory burp.

We do know that a dog's sense of smell is more developed than their sense of taste. And the retrievers that have come through this household have fixated on such things that have an intriguing mouth-feel. Stuff like sticks and rocks and the occasional small toad. Does it all taste good? I've gotta guess that, no, probably not.  But it may have felt pretty darn good on the molars and smelled even better. At least to a dog's value system.

With the early Spring season we've been enjoying here in southwestern Ohio, our lawn is popping up very green and lush. There seems to be something about the tender, new green blades that appeals to my yeller boys. While the terrier is off ground squirrel hunting, Micron and Yaxley are channeling their bovine spirits to become One with the fresh, new fescue sprouts.

In my rather less than expert opinion, this grass noshing thing is really not a problem I spend much time pondering. I will ask my dogs to please not do that in a command that sounds exactly like Don't!  Not because I'm inconsiderate of their instinctive dietary needs, but rather because I can never be sure if this particular salad bar has been chemically treated.  You just don't know where that grass has been.

And actually, I do rather prefer my yellow fellows to be paying attention to what is going on beyond that tender patch of fescue, in spite of the lawn connoisseurs that they claim to be. A pup chewing cud has their noggin in a happy alternate universe where squirrels can't climb trees and the command Here is just a buzzing sound.

And really, I tell Yaxley, it's just not becoming of a future service dog to be seen doing such things. 

The Ohio Fescue has a herbal bouquet with a greenish aftertaste on the palate.
A domestic flavor that can't compete with the complexity of Kentucky Bluegrass
 with its earthy undertones of red clay soil.





Whether a CCI pup or your beloved pet, I will say if it something is bothering you about your fuzzy companion to not hesitate to consult with your veterinarian. Is the grass eating behavior new or does your pup seem to have a bigger hankering than usual for the green stuff? Never (Never!, I say) ignore that gut feeling that you need double check on something. But you already knew that, didn't you?  Who knows your dog better than you do?  Right.

Ok, now I'm off to finger swipe small sticks out of Labrador maws. And to check on what just the heck the terrier is into now. Is that a mole?  Holy cow. . . Jager!


It's like eating an elephant. One bite at a time. [sigh]
 So much lawn  . . .


A guy can dream, can't he?


















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