Tag Archives: Apples

Digestive Dangers Dog Dogs

There’s a reason human food is called that.

You’re supposed to feed human food to, well, humans. Same thing with dog food. Although, I did grow up with a girl who enjoyed nothing more than snacking on a dog biscuit, but I think that was more along the lines of a cry for attention than an actual appreciation for the crispy taste.

A recent article in the Huffington Post went on about twelve human foods that can harm dogs. And I’m not talking about dropping a huge wheel of Cheddar cheese on your dog’s head. Don’t do that, either. No, these are foods that are dangerous if digested.

In yesterday’s post, I went over the first part of the article, which included foods like chocolate, milk, cheese (see?), avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins, garlic and onions.

This go round, I start with something I’ve been doing to Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, with a distressing regularity.

The humans in our family love apples. Their favorite is the Honey Crisp varietal, which is pretty expensive. Because of the cost, I’ve encouraged the young dudes not to share their cut-up apples with the dog, no matter how much he begs. However, they and I have a tendency to give in to those puppy-dog eyes and drop the dog the apple’s core.

Turns out, that’s not such a smart thing to do. Apparently, apple cores (as well as the cores of plums, peaches, pears and apricots) contain cyanogenic glycocides, which you might know better as cyanide. Yeah, the poison. It’s not enough to drop you in your tracks if you eat just one, but it can build up and dogs weigh less than a human, so it builds up quicker.

Another no-no is feeding the dog active bread yeast or dough. If a dog ate active yeast dough, it can ferment in his stomach producing toxic alcohol or could expand in the digestive system, producing dangerous levels of gas and rupture the stomach or intestine.

One of the reasons we’re told not to give a dog chocolate is that chocolate contains caffeine, which is bad for them. (Us, too, but no way am I giving up my Diet Coke.) So it should go without saying that you shouldn’t actually let your dog drink the leftover half-caff, skinny latte. Or any coffee. Or Coke. Or Monster or other energy drink.

Caffeine overstresses the dog’s nervous system, leading to vomiting, hyperactivity, heart palpitations and even death.Bacon, yes, bacon, is bad for dogs. The poor dears.

Finally, most surprisingly, and most horribly, the food we’re not supposed to share with our doggie friends is. . . wait for it. . . not yet. . . bacon.

Yes, bacon.

I’ll pause here while we contemplate the appalling wasteland of the future without bacon. All right, enough. It’s not like we’re being told no more bacon, just don’t give it to Spyke.

Bacon, like most foods high in fat, can cause a dog’s pancreas to become inflamed (called pancreatitis) and stop working. Once that happens, the dog’s digestion gets all wacky and derails nutrient absorption.

All in all, that’s a pretty heavy and extensive list of human foods that are explicitly not for dogs.

Just to be safe, and prevent a lot of table-side begging, maybe we should just not feed Spot any human food at all.

Well, other than broccoli. Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, loves his broccoli and those greens are good for everybody.

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Teachers Talking To Parents For You

The best teachers always say that learn just as much from their students as their students do from them.

Which must make it all the more frustrating when they realize that most of the parents, who also are teaching those students, are working on a whole different curriculum.

Obtuse enough?

The New York Times’ parenting and moming blog, The Motherlode, had an interesting article a while back about what teachers want to talk to parents about when it comes to the students. Teachers talking to parents would seem to be an automatic, but it’s not necessarily so.

I realize that to most of you this does not come as a surprise (but you might be surprised by how many people are going to be gobsmacked by the following fact), but students learn from teachers and parents at the same time. Despite what we parents might thing when we’re asking for the seventeenth time for our young dude to take out the garbage, the young ‘uns watch us like hawks and learn by watching what we do. We are teaching them all the time.The apple didn't fall far from the old block.

The best learning takes place when teachers and parents are working together to help the young dude or dudette discover the learner within. When parents and teachers are working at cross purposes, that does not happen. Sadly.

When parents don’t stress the importance of education, their young dudes and dudettes won’t think it matters all that much if they pay attention in class, or show respect to the teacher, or do their homework. And that, dudes, is bad news if we want kids to learn and progress during their education.

Don’t even get me started about the time I was subbing in a middle school for a week straight in the same class. I told the class all week that there would be a test on Thursday. One student missed the test on Thursday and returned to class on Friday. She had a note from her mom saying the student should be excused and allowed to take the test on her own time because Mom felt her daughter needed to go shopping on Thursday. Which taught that young lady exactly the wrong thing about education.

Teachers talking to parents can be stressful because both parties often have different starting points and, oddly, different goals.

See, parents want their kids to be loved for the very special little apples they really are. Teachers want the kids to be enthusiastic about learning, apply themselves, and progress cooperatively through the lessons.

You’d think those two paths would end up being parallel, but that’s often not the case. A loving parent who just knows his young dude is a special apple is going to find it hard to believe when his teacher says the student is disrupting the class or loudly telling everyone it doesn’t matter if they pass the test.

All of which can make for a difficult situation when parents and teachers have to work together for the betterment of the young dudes and dudettes in class.

So, as a public service, I thought I’d aggregate a couple of good bits of dialogue in which teachers talk to parents for you all to peruse.

Not now, of course. But come back tomorrow and we’ll talk a bit more.

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Does Being A Celebrity Make Smokey Bear Smarter Than The Average Bear?

by Richard

The US National Forestry Service is running another series of commercials on the radio, starring the voice of Puddy on Seinfeld. These days he’s going by his real name of Patrick Warburton, he of the very, very deep voice.

The commercials run with a high-voiced civilian calling the park service, represented by a smug-sounding Warburton, already acting like he knows more than you dudes ever will. The civilian talks about an encounter with Smokey Bear (notice there’s no the there. The Forestry Service is really harping on that for some reason.), who talks about how people cause nine out of ten wildfires.

The civilian says something along the lines of, “I didn’t know that.” To reinforce that we should listen to Smokey’s advice, the Warburton character says, “That’s why Smokey’s famous, and you’re not.”

Yeah, seriously. They’re actually saying, not that we should listen to Smokey’s advice because he has long years of experience in the area of preventing wildfires, but because he is famous.

Do what the famous individual says, not because she is right, but because she is famous. As if being known by a lot of people, say, for being in a lot of movies, makes you some sort of expert on, say, insecticides on the skin of apples. I mean, no one would panic and start removing apples from school cafeterias just because some actress got out in front of a camera and said they were bad.

And Congress would never bring in celebrities to testify before a committee for no reason other than that they want the star power to gain attention.

Is our country really that shallow? Do we really equate fame with expertise, with knowledge?

Sadly, the answer is yes.

The equation runs something like this: If people know you, then you must know stuff and we should listen to you.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t run like this: You’ve studied your area of expertise for many years and are familiar with the ramifications of the situation, so we listen to you. Nope. If you’re that guy, then the people who don’t agree with your opinion start talking about how unqualified you are to talk and, besides, you’re just some pointy-headed scientist.

But that’s a whole other post about how people actually think you can believe the facts you want to believe and that makes your conclusion true, since it aligns with what you believe.

The takeaway is this: Don’t believe something just because someone famous says it. Do your own research. Listen to the experts, not the amateurs.

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