The Green Dog

  • Written by  Luke the Labrador, Marblehead
The Green Dog

There are many interesting things about being the animal companion of a Greenie, a self-styled environmentalist.

The best part is the time I get to spend walking in nature, sniffing the smells, watering the trees, swimming in the lake, even occasionally escaping to chase squirrels and to forage. One memorable spring day I found the leg bone of a deer and led the humans on quite a chase before they could get it away from me.

I also like the quiet ride in the back seat of the Prius on trips to get eggs and produce from local farms and markets and to go to the recycling center. Once in a while i get to go to yoga class to demonstrate upward and downward facing dog postures. My other favorite trips are romps at the Bark until Dark dog park and visits with my dog friends and with Grandpa and his friends at Riverview Healthcare Campus. They fuss over me a lot there.

My least favorite part of being a Greenie's dog is that there is very little meat at my house. I am a carnivore! The natural dog food and treats are yummy though. My human's attempts at baking dog biscuits have not turned out too well, but I get to eat all the mistakes. She just found out that dog food can be purchased from the dog food club at Furry Paws in Marblehead, saving gas and money and doing that really good “shop locally” thing.

My human’s quest for an environmentally good way to dispose of my dog waste has been most amusing. I realize that dog waste, like other animal and human waste, is not good for the land or the water and I don't want anything damaging my beloved lake. One time my human bought a dog waste composter. Actually, people can make one by drilling holes in a garbage can, sinking it in the ground, and adding compost activator from time to time. It does not work in Marblehead, however, where the rock is so close to the surface. Lesson learned. Then she tried flushable dog waste bags. Good idea in theory. We have now settled on biodegradable dog waste bags.

My dog hair goes to the birds for their nests or in the composter or around the garden to keep critters out. I do my part by shedding a lot. A friend who is a weaver even spun her long-haired dog's hair into yarn. How great is that!

Sometimes my human really goes too far, like the year she had me be the Pink Panther for Halloween. This was accomplished by the application of beet juice all over my white fur. It was from organic, home-grown, home-canned beets, of course. At least it was better than wearing a costume, I guess.

Great things that people can do for our environment and us animal friends is to adopt a rescued pet from the Humane Society or Island Safe Animal Sanctuary, neuter their pets and help with capturing and neutering feral cats (though I confess i do like chasing them).

As Kermit the Frog says, sometimes “it's not easy being green.” But it is worth it.

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