Not-so-great adventure at the feria….

This was actually several not-so-great adventures. The good part is that I got what I needed for very little money. The bad part was that I made the common mistake of mistaking a 50 for a 500. So when I left the house, I thought I saw a 500 in my wallet. Either I had a 500 and it got swiped, or it was a 50 all along. I don’t see how anyone could have swiped the 500. I had all my money in my wallet and that wallet only came out of my pocket when I paid for something.

This was the topic of conversation between myself and my neighbor. She said the most common error is just that, mistaking a 50 for a 500 or vice versa. Our bills are each a different color, but that doesn’t faze me too much because I can’t really see the subtleties. I’m somewhat colorblind. I can easily spot a 20 by its green color, and sometimes a $1,000 cuz it’s got a lot of metallic dyes in it. But the other bills are about the same nondescript color to me. This leaves me with only the option of reading the number on the bill. I try to be careful. But I’m not perfect. No one is.

Another mistake which is probably done around the world is to hand someone two bills that are stuck together. From what I can tell, due to the consistency of paper currency, this error is more likely to happen with US money than UY money. US money is more “sticky,” especially bills straight from the “mint.” Or off the tree. Usually when I hand a cashier a bill, he or she checks to make sure I haven’t screwed up. I’ll bet hired cashiers are trained or instructed to do this till it becomes automatic habit.

So I looked in my wallet and said, “Oh shit, that’s not a 500 after all.” I knew in fact I had very little money left. Oops.

So I told myself I still  hadn’t bought my spices. I headed over to the place I know sells bulk spices in any quantity you want. This is probably the best vendor from whom to purchase certain spices. I saw a guy there today selling adobo, oregano, and about ten other spices for excellent prices, too.

On the way, I ran into a USA person I know. I don’t know her well. I’ve only had brief conversations with her.  She’s a fair amount older than me. She got my attention and said hello. She was with someone else, another woman. She asked me how Puzzle was.

So here came the problemo. I said Puzzle was doing great and that I’d made a cake for her. I listed the ingredients, using my bad Spanish. I was proud that I could rattle off the ingredients without a thought.

Finally, I mentioned papas. Potatoes. Scream fest! No, I wasn’t screaming, she was! She started yelling that potatoes are very poisonous for dogs and I should never give them to Puzzle. I know that they must be cooked. So I responded that to my knowledge, so long as they are cooked they are okay. I know the concern with raw potatoes is the skin and the layer just under the skin. Some dogs cannot digest potato skin, but I’ve never heard that cooked potatoes in moderation were a problem.

She was yelling more and more. I mean, this was embarrassing. Treating me like I was stupid. Her gestures indicated she thought that she knew better than I did in every aspect of life.

She said, “Go look it up on the Internet. Sweet potatoes are okay but not potatoes.”

I shrugged and said, “Okay.” I wanted to end the conversation right there.

Then she rattled on with some nutrition myth. Don’t you hate when people do that? Impose their idea of nutrition on their pets, you, and even your pet? I was wanting to make a quick exit. She said, “Potatoes turn to sugar when you eat them. Pure sugar.”

Oh, please. I didn’t say anything, just walked away and I knew she was thinking, “Wow, Julie’s stupid.” and I was thinking, “I am not going to argue anymore.”

Yeah, potatoes do turn to sugar. Not table sugar, which is sucrose, but glucose, a simple sugar. Eventually. All starches do that! Just about. It’s complex, because some starches break down sooner in digestion than others.

Most foods contain some form of sugar. Is sugar bad? No. Please don’t give your dog candy and especially not chocolate. Or booze. But starches? As far as I know, it’s okay to give your dog many veggies, including starchy vegetables, so long as the bulk of your dog’s diet is meat.

So I vowed I’d look this one up. To prove her wrong. But no, I won’t say anything when I see her next, no way. I’ll smile, be sickly sweet polite and not stay in the conversation very long, lest she find yet one more reason to call me stupid.

So I left. I felt kinda bad. I don’t like that kind of know-it-all attitude. I took a different route home.  I guess I wasn’t looking carefully where I stepped. I tripped on a bump in the sidewalk and boom! Down I went.

I told myself, “Dang, this is embarrassing.” I started to get myself up and a guy came and made sure I was okay. I said I was and I laughed. My toe is bloody, though. I was wearing flip-flops.

Suddenly, I realized my cell phone was in my front pocket. I’d fallen forward. Uh-oh. I didn’t want to look. I told myself if this was gonna be bad news, I didn’t want to know just yet. So the whole rest of the way home, I reminded myself that my phone was inside a case. Likely, that’s what saved it.

I came in. Unpacked the small amount of stuff I bought, then checked my cell. I think it’s fine. Aren’t cases great?

I came to my computer eventually, sat down, and googled every possibility of Are Potatoes Poisonous to Dogs. I checked about ten websites.

The answer? No. Potatoes aren’t poisonous to your dog. The green leaves of potatoes are very poisonous to cats. So don’t let your kitty chow down on potato plants! One website said that potatoes should be fed in moderation but otherwise they are okay. The MSPCA and ASPCA websites make no mention of potatoes. I checked a site that had a complete list of poisons, and potatoes weren’t on it. Only potato greens for cats.

As for potatoes turning to sugar, I was right on that one, too. They are higher on the glycemic index than sweet potatoes. That means they turn to sugar sooner.  They sound like good food to me, actually. Tomatoes contain sugar, too. As do carrots. The starches in these vegetables also turn to glucose in your digestion. Does the glycemic index even have any relevance to dogs? If a dog is diabetic, I suppose. Otherwise, most likely, I wouldn’t worry.

I don’t give Puzzle seeds and I am careful about skins, pits, and cores. Corn on the cob is said to be a very bad idea for dogs.

Now think about this one: Sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes. How do people eat sweet potatoes? With brown sugar and butter. So what’s this sugar concern? If you want to avoid it, don’t use it!

Please don’t give your dog prepared mashed potatoes or fries. Or potato chips. Or potato salad. Some dogs can’t have potato skin, so peel it off if that’s the case. If you want to know more about what you shouldn’t give your dog, ask your vet, do a Google search, don’t rely on only one website, and use common sense.

If you get yelled at and the person isn’t making much sense, yell back the following,


Know what that means? Don’t say a word. Walk away and when you are round the corner, laugh.



Can dogs eat peel and seeds? My experience….

I am not a vet and I am sure no expert.  So that’s my disclaimer.  I am 55 years old and I have lived with dogs all my  life and watched them eat since maybe the age of 12.

For the most part, what we humans consider “disgusting” doesn’t register as “disgusting” with dogs.  They don’t think that way.  They don’t need table manners.  They don’t make a food budget.  They don’t worry about what is good for them, or are concerned about their weight or body image.  The few that do see their own reflection  in the mirror tilt their heads to the side with mild curiosity.  I suspect the last thing they are thinking is, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?”  What I am saying is that they are on a different spectrum from us when it comes to food.

For years, I struggled to teach my dog to lose interest in nibbling on her own poops.  Years ago, the vet gave me stuff to put in her food to stop this “puppy habit.”  We tried vitamins, too.  There are all kinds of theories as to why dogs do this.  Lately, I’ve chosen to take an anthropological view of this and see it as one in the many list of things that separates dog from human.  She has four legs and I have two and this is a radical difference from the start.

So the other day I was cutting up an eggplant and a few very small pieces fell on the floor.  Anything on the floor is up for grabs unless I say it isn’t.  Puzzle must have heard that I was cutting something up and figured, “Hey, mama always drops a morsel for me,” and came in all curious or whatever.

Now eggplant is something interesting.  Peel and seeds.  Stuff that dogs can’t digest.  You look at a piece of eggplant and it’s rather unavoidable.   Even if you peel the skin off, just about every bit of it has some seeds in it….teensy seeds.  Not that I was even thinking.  I wasn’t.  It didn’t even register.  I tried to recall if eggplant was okay for dogs and I couldn’t remember it being on any warning list anywhere.

You can find a list of poisons by using Google or any search engine…do not use this as a substitute for veterinary care PLEASE… (so in that saying, I hesitate to provide too much info and do say the disclaimer above) however, I mean to say be careful what you give your dog and perhaps these lists that are posted could be used as basic guidelines because they are based on scientific evidence. You can google your local humane society and find guidelines there as well, or call your vet.

If you want to get a houseplant, and your dog is the type that takes a bite out of something to make sure it is okay to have around, you might want to make sure your houseplant isn’t going to make your dog sick.  I don’t keep plants cuz I tend to kill them.

Dogs vary in what they can eat.  I’ve had some with “iron stomachs” and I’ve had dogs that were more sensitive.  I don’t think Puzzle’s stomach was very happy about that little bit of raw eggplant and I am going to be careful from now on.

Ever since we switched to homemade food, Puzzle has been able to eat a wide variety of foods.  I’ve read about the trouble dogs have with peel and seeds.  Puzzle mostly eats meat, but I add some grain and veggies in very small quantities.  My experience is that she can occasionally eat some peel and seeds and digest it just fine, and other peel and seeds is quite difficult for her.

Puzzle eats very small quantities of everything, anyway.  Compared to any human, her meals are just snippets.  So as I figure it, a few spoonfuls of something will make a big difference in her little tummy.

Lesson learned.