Dogs and Chicken Bones: A Bitchfest and a Few Haikus

As many of you know, Rosie was a street dog in L.A. before she was brought to the high kill shelter. So it’s her survival instinct to pick up every little bit of anything that looks like food on the street, especially in cracks of the sidewalk, by the curb, and under restaurant tables. We took a training course to try to break her of this habit, and it seemed to help for a while until she went right back to her old ways.

Rosie cuddling up to Manuel

I asked Manuel, her trainer (and love of her life), if I should consider getting a little muzzle for her so she can’t get sick (or worse) from picking up the wrong thing (like, say, rat poison). He said that would be traumatic for her, so I should continue the training instead. (Positive reinforcement, with treats. We just got these new ones at Trader Joe’s that she loves — freeze-dried beef liver. TJ’s has great, inexpensive USA-made dog treats, by the way. Find your local store here.) But I digress …

So yesterday Rosie and I were enjoying our afternoon walk, walking north on 10th avenue. As we approached 24th street, Rosie spied a chicken bone with a little bit of chicken left on the ends and she went bananas. I hate yanking her away from anything, and she’s not great with “leave it” or “drop it” yet, but she does have a harness so I yanked her quickly and hoped it wasn’t too hard. She seemed alarmed but unfazed about two seconds later. (The responsible thing for me to have done, in hindsight, would have been to pick up the bone and throw it out so some other dog didn’t choke on it. I was not thinking.)

Rosie enjoying a stroll “in the bag”

Anyway, we continued our little jaunt up 10th Avenue, met a few of her friends along the way, and then turned around to go home … passed that fucking half-eaten rancid chicken bone. Luckily, I was watching because Rosie went right to the spot (which was actually slightly hidden under a bus stop bench). I always have to watch her like a hawk. I distracted her with the promise of a “cookie” when we got home and a “ride in the bag” (Rosie’s new favorite thing — we did do that later). She sort of reluctantly left the bone alone. But it could have been extremely dangerous had she not. (Here’s some good advice, by the way, in case your dog swallows a chicken bone.)

Okay. so here’s the thing about chicken bones and New York City. They are fucking everywhere. Do they rain down from the sky? Is there a KFC up there? Do people just chuck them out of their cars? Eat their chicken on the street and drop the bones?

Who are these people? Why aren’t they more considerate? Why is it chicken bones people discard on the street? Why not, say, omelettes? Or steak tartare? Or cannoli? I’m baffled.

Thatcher, my friend Fiona’s boxer.

Just the other day, my friend Fiona’s dog Thatcher got her paws on a chicken bone and swallowed most of it before Fiona could pull it out. She was really worried about Thatcher. Thank god it all worked out, but Jesus, people, enough with the chicken shit.

Okay, so I thought I’d get out my feelings with a few chicken bone-themed Haikus. Ready?

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 4.08.40 AM
Why this and not, say, a cannoli?

Bone of contention
It reaches my dog’s belly
Blocking her bowels

Finger lickin’ good?
It may be so but you see
My dog Herb has died

Rosie’s at the vet
No thanks to you you asshole
Eat chicken at home