Yesterday Darby and MaeRose had their annual veterinarian's visit - routine shots, and a discussion about teeth getting tartar scaled (they need attention). The vet suggested that I purchase beef bones, boil them till they are "powdery white" and give them to the dogs as a stop-gap to expensive teeth cleaning.
I went to our local butcher - with real over-the-counter butchers, and meat which is fresh, not packaged, and asked if they had beef bones, expecting to be told they were scarce, or not available at all.
Instead, off the butcher went to the freezer - returning with a cardboard box filled with humongous
bones - I had no idea they were going to be so big. He asked what size I wanted. My baffled look was enough to have him disappear to the back room where he sawed one of the two-foot long, four inch thick bones into seven or eight formidable chunks.
They never actually turned powder white after boiling for hours, but seemed properly tooth-gnawing ready. This morning I gave each dog one of chunks. (I planned to do some sweaty gardening, and did not want to be interrupted.) MaeRose began immediately to suck, gnaw, nibble, gnash, savor her bone.
Darby, on the other hand, went into a frenzy of pacing back and forth, up and down the garden stairs, round and round the flower beds, right and left, over and under. River rocks, flagstone slabs, potted plants, and bushes made excavation almost impossible. He plowed out a pile of dirt from an empty pot, and uprooted a kefir lily. And still he kept pacing. Once he even let me take the bone from his mouth, reluctantly, but with grace. By this time it was covered with mud from all the aborted digging. I scraped off as much as I could, and gave it back to him. Finally, after at least 45 minutes he decided it was time to sample his prize. And so he began a lengthy munching.
Meantime, MaeRose had cleaned her bone inside and out - turning it into a beautiful white napkin-ring
When I finished in the garden I wangled the bones from each dog, and put them in the freezer (the bones, not the dogs).
This evening Darby explored the entire garden, nose to the ground, looking for any possible remnants from his morning promenade. No luck. Tomorrow I will let each dog have his/her leftover bone.
And, then I will boil two more.