Welcome to our blog about life with six alpaca "fiber boys" in the Colorado foothills! We post once a week, usually on the weekend, when life slows down to sweet, slow dance. ~ Gib & Lisa

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Dog food is popular at our house. The horse thinks dog food is a treat. The cats prefer dog food over their fish-shaped nuggets. The mice store it for winter use (please don't ask how I know this).

The dogs?  They prefer plants. 

OK, so I'll confess that we buy "off-the-shelf" dog food (not the really good kind you get from a vet), so maybe the dogs are silently protesting.  You know, like martyrs.

BUT, in our defense, the first ingredient listed on the dog-food bag is meat, not a corn by-product. 

So that's what baffles me. The HORSE, who gobbles those dog-food pellets like they are candy, likes MEAT...but the dogs prefer plants?

And I'm not talking about the typical my-tummy-is-hurting-so-I'm-munching-grass-to-make-me-barf dog behavior.

Nope. This is all-out, vegetarian behavior.  These weirdos crave BEET PULP.

Beet pulp is a "side dish" created by the processing of sugar beets, and the green stuff is high in protein and fiber.  We get it in neat oblong pellets, which we soak overnight, making a nice greenish-grayish-brownish mash (yum!) that gives the Old Brown Mare energy in an easy-to-eat form.  She likes it. The dogs love it.

Here they are, cleaning up the beet pulp after the horse has had her fill.

Hank especially likes this delicacy, and often pushes Rodeo out, as he takes laps around the bowl with amazing speed!

Last night, though, things got even more bizarre.  I found the two piles of hay I'd prepared for Chocolate and EB's dinner inside the barn scattered and mostly gone ~ with Chocolate and EB still outside, and no other animals but the dogs in sight. 

But dogs don't eat hay.

Do they?

As I pondered that question, images from some photos I'd taken of the dogs and Lucy last weekend came into sharp focus. 

The dogs had been loitering outside Lucy's pen, a place they are strictly forbidden to enter. Reason: She's big; they're not.  

But they were pushing the boundaries that day ~ literally.  

So, I did what any responsible adult does when toddler-like beings in her care could be getting into a sticky situation ~ I took pictures!  Aren't they cute, just commando-crawling right in there with that 1100-pound horse?

I thought they were picking up pieces of beet pulp that Lucy had dropped as she ate her breakfast earlier. Gib thought that, too. 

We were SO wrong.

Our dogs have been eating alfalfa.  As in hay. As in $10-a-bale hay.  

Why?  Who knows?  

They're hungry? (No. We feed them the afore-mentioned dog food twice a day, in large quantities; plus they get all the dog treats they want.)  

They're bored? (No. They destroy things in the barn when they're bored.)  

They're hoping we'll feel guilty that the poor darlings are reduced to eating PLANTS, and that we'll cave in and buy the GOOD dog food? (Hmmm...at $10 a bale for hay, vet dog food IS a bargain.)

Or maybe they're just weirdos...

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