In honor of World Toilet Day – a poop story you should read

I never knew when I was getting my Master’s degree at Northwestern that I would be spending a great deal of my time worrying about dog poop. To be honest, my studies didn’t really prepare me for this.

Since starting the daycare, I’ve learned a lot. Did you know that we sometimes know what your family has had for dinner the night before? It’s true. Sometimes your dogs leave us a gift that has whole kernels of corn, or carrots or whatever else you’ve had for dinner. Or maybe it’s their dinner if you cook for them. Sometimes we know what they were playing with. We’ll find pieces of a toy staring up at us while we clean up. It’s always an adventure.

Then there are the loose stools that tell us a dog isn’t feeling well. An upset stomach or something else going on that means a visit to the vet or a little chicken and rice might be required until things settle down.

And that’s what’s been going on with Rex for the last year. Yes, I said a year. It started when my Dad gave him some Strawberry Rhubarb pie. (My Dad has dementia and he didn’t realize what he was doing). Rex ended up at Blue Pearl and it’s been difficult since then. He hated going to the bathroom and struggled every time he tried. When something came out, it was usually soft, loose and a strange orange color.

Chicken and rice was the name of the game. Nothing changed. Pumpkin didn’t help either. So, the vet put him on prescription food. He hated it. I would have to put a dab of peanut butter in it just to get him to the bowl. He was on a pro-biotic and an anti-biotic. Northing helped.

Last week I reached out to Rob Freeman of North Shore Pet Chef. Rob supplies us with our house food and has samples in our front lobby as well. Prior to Rex getting sick, that was the food he ate and loved. Rob knew what was going on as, when Rex was put on his prescription diet, I stopped ordering from him. I told him that Rex still wasn’t right and asked for his thoughts. He suggested I try a raw diet and we came up with a plan. Some air-dried raw lamb, a little Lamb and Rice kibble sprinkled with some sweet potato chips to calm his stomach.

It’s been four days since we tried his new diet and here’s what’s happened.

a) Rex RUNS into the kitchen for his food.
b) He is happier – and he now loves to go on his walks and relive himself.
c) He goes to the bathroom easily and his poop is solid and brown.

I did a happy dance when I went to pick it up the first day and now, on day three, the happy dance continues. I am hoping this will continue and the only poop I’ll need to worry about is the one that isn’t picked up.  I hate stepping in poop – don’t you?