Thursday, 13 November 2008

White Dog Poo

Its one of those childhood memories that has seemed to have stuck with me just like eating spaghetti bolognaise at my Grandparents house every Saturday night or following episodes of Dungeons and Dragons and the Racoon's like a religion. You too may have come to realise that white dog poo is a sight rarely seen on the streets these days and I for one had always wondered why.
Back in those long hazy days in the summer making weapons out of sticks I often stumbled across the chalky shit left by all kinds of dogs around where I lived both large and small. So what changed? I short bit of research on Google revealed I was not the only one pondering this mystery and it seems the legend of white chod has quite a following.

A few members of the public offer their explanation:

“We don't feed our dogs bones as often as we used too, so as it was the consumption of the bones that made the poo white we no longer have white poo. I suppose the good side is you won't accidentally pick one up thinking it's a stone.”

-Gordon Williams, Middlesbrough, England

“White dog poo is usually due to a blockage of the bile duct, which prevents the brown pigment (stercobilin) travelling through it and colouring the faeces so one explanation is possibly a reduction in the incidence of this particular disease or due to better veterinary care, or due to the fact that nowadays owners recognise this is a problem and see vets quicker about it. Or due to the fact that nowadays owners are threatened with a fine if they don't clean up their dog's poo so there is a possiblity that there still is the same amount of white dog poo, but now it is all in bins around the country! “

-Paul Salmon, Edinburgh, Scotland

“We bought our beloved hound a large bone from the local butcher's the other week. She's never had one before so needless to say it went down very well. Imagine our surprise when her business later showed itself to be pale and chalky (in colour if not consistency). I can only imagine that treating the family dog to a juicy bone has declined in recent years.”

-Geoff Bryant, Sheffield, UK

“I've seen this answered somewhere before (possibly Focus magazine or New Scientist). Apparently, it is because the white colouring is due to be invaded by spores as the excrement has been there for some time. The explanation being that nowadays, it is cleaned away from the pavements quicker, so does not generally lie around long enough for the spores to invade.”

-P Gilson, Doncaster S Yorkshire

“Dog poo should be white: the whiteness comes from the calcium in bones that dogs eat. If we see white dog poo less rarely perhaps it is because dog owners feed their dogs on dry or canned food and hardly ever give them bones to gnaw on. My dogs eat bones regularly; my local butcher gives me the bones for free! “

-David Wheeler, Spalding, Lincolnshire

“I am actually a collector of white dog poo - I have over 300 samples but have indeed found it harder to add to my collection over the past year or so. “

-Daniel Himsworth, Sevenoaks UK

“I still vividly remember getting told off by my mother as a young child (I'm now 46) for writing on the wall by our house with the white 'chalk' I had found. I couldn't understand why she rushed me indoors to wash my hands. "I was only playing!".

-Clive Thornton, Bristol, UK

And so the the disappearance of white dog poo is down to what dogs eat these days. I had always thought some disgruntled employee at Pedigree had sabotaged one of the vats of tripe with chalk or white colouring to leave his mark on the streets. The reason being he knew that dogs up and down the country would unwittingly paste his pearly white tag on street corners and lampposts across the land, sort of like graffiti but better.


mikemathew said...

cheesy bugs and white dog poo Inspired people generally don't have as many dogs, and it is socially unacceptable to let them foul the pavements or footpaths. I imagine that there is less poo around to dessicate, assuming white poo is dessicated. I seem to recall as a kid that it crumbled when you stepped in it, as opposed to the squishy stuff you tracked all over the house after your Mum had yelled at you to take your shoes off, or at least check them.


Alan Jewels said...

I always assumed it was just dog shit that had once been of a regular colour and had turned white and chalky with age.

Lewis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cleggy said...

yeh, I thought, even when I was a kid and writing my name on the tarmac with the stuff that it's your regular dog stool, but in time it turns white, I think it's when we have several days of cold but dry nights followed by dry days, and usually you'd find the white gear in a shaded area i.e under or next to a hedge. Nowt to do with bones or owt, all dog shite comes out brown like our own, the browness is dead blood cells, unless you rag 17 bags of harribo then you have a green one.

cleggy said...

oh yeh and another thing, dogs dont eat bones, they smash em for the marrow inside. So thats not it either.