Thursday, November 16, 2006

What Small Children and Dogs Have In Common

Those of us who have been parents know for certain that humans are more like the lower animals, in this case, dogs, that we'd care to admit. Anyone who has lived with a toddler knows that their eating habits have one key thing in common with our canine friends: they'll both put nearly anything in their mouths.

When I was about three or four years old, I remember eating an entire bottle of children's orange flavored aspirin. Back in those days, there was no such thing as a "child-proof" cap, so parents had to make sure to keep medicine out of the hands of children. My mother had put the medical supplies in the topmost shelf in the kitchen, thinking they'd be safe there. Well, she badly underestimated me. I simply pushed a kitchen chair over to the counter and used that to climb on top of the counter, where I now could easily reach the top cabinet. I gobbled the orange aspirins down like candy. I guess it didn't hurt me any; I never told my parents about it until years later.

I also remember eating library paste, grass, Play-Doh, pet food, etc. I once knew a kid who tasted their dog's shit, but, fortunately, I never sank quite to that level.

Compare this to what my childhood dog ate: crayons, a ball of yarn, paper, an earring. I remember that he whirled himself in circles trying to crap out the string of yarn and that after he ate the crayons, his shit looked like a chocolate chip cookie with M&Ms in it.

My son would pick up stuff from the sidewalk and try to eat it; used gum, bottle caps, and so on. One time he got hold of a cigarette butt and swallowed it before I could get it away from him. I rammed my finger down his throat until he puked it up, and he didn't get sick from it, amazingly enough.

Let's hear some of your experiences with what your dogs and small children ate.

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