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Tag: avocado

Diller: The avocado-eating dog that helps propagate the species

avocadodogWhen it comes to avocados, Diller is a dog who doesn’t just crave the fleshy green fruit, but seems to have an abiding respect for the pit as well.

Diller was born to the litter of a pregnant rescue dog and taken in by a family that was moving to a horse ranch in Southern California.

Roaming the grounds there, he quickly discovered a couple of abandoned avocado trees that remained from an old orchard that used to be a few hundred feet from the house.

He tried one. He liked it. And he’s been picking them off the trees and eating them ever since.

We’ll point out here that giving your dog an entire avocado is not a good idea. They are not toxic to dogs, but the pits can be a choking hazard

avodogtwoDiller, though is a meticulous eater, according to a recent story in The Dodo. He never bites into the pit, but he does lick them so clean that they shine.

“One day I came home from work and there were two perfectly clean avocado pits sitting at the foot of my chair. They seriously looked like they had been polished,” said Diller’s owner Robert Moser. “I was sitting there wondering, ‘What the heck?’, when Diller sauntered in with the third, gently placed it on my shoe, and wagged his tail, clearly expecting pets for being a very good boy.”

Moser had tried sprouting avocados from pits before, but never with success.

“Pits that had been whacked out of the avocado with a knife were usually too scuffed up, and if you tried to grow them with the brown seed skin still on, they’d usually rot,” Moser said. “With that in mind, I knew what I had to try the moment I saw the clean pits laid at my feet.”

Almost all of the seeds Diller brought him have sprouted, and Diller ended up with more avocado saplings than he knew what to do with.

avothreeNow he regularly gives them as gifts (accompanied by a photo of Diller with the seed the plant sprouted from) and trades them with other farmers.

“There are probably a few dozen Diller-trees throughout California nowadays, Moser said.

“The earliest of Diller’s trees are just starting to bear fruit. I know the folks that have them will think of him every time they harvest. It’s the sort of thought that makes you smile when it crosses your mind, you know?”

(Photos: From The Dodo; provided by Robert Moser)

Top 10 causes of dog poisoning

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has put together a list of the top ten poisons that affected dogs in 2008.

1. Human medications. For several years, human medications have been number one source of poisoning cases — both prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up medications accidentally dropped on the floor. Keep them in cabinets.

2. Insecticides. Bug control products rank number two, and many of them involved misuse of flea and tick products—such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. Check with your vet before beginning any flea and tick control program.

3. People food.
Grapes, raisins, avocado, onions and certain citrus fruit can harm dogs. One of the worst offenders is chocolate, which, if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.

4. Rat and mouse poisons. Last year, the ASPCA received approximately 8,000 calls about pets who had accidentally ingested rat and mouse poisons. Many baits used to attract rodents contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to pets as well. Ingesting them can lead to life-threatening problems for pets, including bleeding, seizures and kidney damage.

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