6 December 2017

Disgusto. I Thought You Should Know.


As is obvious by now, we love Gus and are delighted to have him. I've put up a score of photos and stories about how cute he is, how wonderful he is, and how interesting small dogs are. Lest  you think this is all cute, i have to tell you something.

Gus is disgusting.

I have sworn to be honest, and also open here on the blog, so I think I must also write that as much as we love him,  Gus is not only disgusting, he is perhaps the most disgusting dog I have ever lived with. He makes Lenore, or loving and late Lab, seem like a Paris dilettante in comparison, and Lenore would eat just about anything. Gus makes her look like a picky eater.

Gus eats any vile thing he can get his mouth on – donkey manure, dog feces, bits of rotten wood, chicken droppings, sheep feces, garbage. He eats stuff so foul I can hardly bear to look at it or smell it. Gus is an affectionate dog, a licker and cuddler, but many times I have to say, "not today, not after what you ate!

Twice a week, I have to lean over and pull something long and awful out of his butt, and more than once I have come across him eating or licking fresh dog feces, still steaming (sorry). This, I have to say, is not uncommon to the breed (he is a Boston Terrier) but disgustingness isn't something that comes up all that often in the literature and oh-so-helpful websites Bostons and how endearing they are.

"Oh yes," one Boston lover told me in town the other day, "they are all like that." Thanks for telling me.

They are endearing, and we do love Gus. But is isn't all adorable, for sure. He is continuously spitting up and vomiting the gross things he wolfs down all day.  Sometimes, he just retches and gags for amusement, nothing comes out. We've asked the vet about this, and she laughs. Oh yes, say the Boston Terrier lovers, they are all like that, there is no way of stopping them.

But perhaps ways of slowing them down. We have tried some things to put in the other dogs food to make it less appetizing to Gus, and are experimenting with different food and diets. Gus loves to snuggle in bed with us in the mornings, the breed is also notorious for that.

And once or twice a week, he also loves to spit up revolting things right on the bed, if we are not alert to enough to hear him gulping and gagging and toss him out of bed. We are getting good at this. In the morning, when he picks up a giant ball of donkey manure, I yell "leave it," and he usually does, after gulping down some good chunks. God knows what he is eating when I'm not looking.

Inside, he will eat balls of dog and cat fur, chunks of wood from the logs, bits of plastic or tissues from the bathroom.

Some of that is puppy stuff, and will ease.

Some of that is just what Boston Terriers do.

"Oh sure," chuckled Jamie at the Farmer's Market, who loves his Boston Terrier madly, and then listed the many trips his dog has made to the hospital because of the dreadful things he had eaten. Jamie thought this was a riot. Small dog owners are different.

Gus, it seems will eat just about everything (and no, he doesn't have worms. Because of their size, they don't have the digestive systems of larger dogs, so there is much burping and farting and gulping as he tries to process the gross things he loves to eat.

When I got Gus, one of the reasons was that I wanted to learn about small dogs. And I am.

Gus is a forager, a ratter and he lives quite close to the ground. On a farm, that is a great place to be for a dog that will eat anything. We are beginning to realize that his disgusting side is not really a phase, the other Boston Terrier owners we know just nod their heads, and say yes, they really can be disgusting dogs.

I thought you should know.

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