Dogs vs Tomatoes. The tomatoes aren’t winning.
I have created a monster: Buddy, the Tomato-Loving Puppy.
It started like this: On Wednesday, as part of the Crooked Sky Farms CSA, I ordered two extra boxes of organic, heirloom tomatoes, 30 pounds total (for $30!!)*. On Friday, I processed half of them to make salsa, the first step being peeling and coring them. After scalding the tomatoes and peeling them over the sink, I pulled my cushy office chair up to the island — that’s how I’ve been doing my meal prep: sitting — and started cutting out the tough area where the stem attaches with a paring knife.
Our “old” dog, Tally, sat down next to me, very attentive, with a polite request in her eyes. I kept declining, “Tally. Really. You don’t want a tomato core. Dogs don’t like tomatoes.” But, she patiently and gently disagreed. Finally, I tossed her a core. She snapped it out of the air and wanted another. I tossed her another. And another. She ate them like candy! In short order, Buddy, who is 5 months old, figured out that Tally was getting something he wasn’t and came to investigate. Buddy is quite pushy and bossy — which bothers me — but I ended up using it as a training reinforcement for him to sit and stay. Soon, he was on one side of me, Tally on the other, and as soon as I cored a tomato, I would toss it to alternating dogs.
Eventually, I ran out. Tally was all right with that, and sauntered off to lounge in the living room.
Buddy was NOT all right with me running out.
He’s not a very vocal dog. He whines a bit, but rarely barks, and is just generally a quiet dog. But, after he figured out that nudging my leg with his nose was not producing any more tomato cores, he put up a fuss. I wish I would have recorded it. He vocalized with such incessant pleading, loudly begging for more tomato cores, deep in his throat with a variety of pitches, howls, and vocalizations. He was also trying his best to sit and stay, maximizing the possibility of obtaining more tomato scraps. But, he worked himself just about frantic in his quest for more tomatoes. At first I was highly amused. NEVER have I heard him talk like that! But after a good ten minutes, I started to feel very sorry for him. Not sorry enough to chop up a good tomato and give it to him, but I did commiserate with him and try to comfort his comfortless self.
The next day, Saturday, I processed nearly 15 more pounds of tomatoes for Tomato Confit Sauce, and the same scene was repeated, much to the dogs’ delight.
However, Sunday… Buddy decided to take matters into his own paws.
I have six tomato plants growing in my mini-garden. Three of them are very large. They haven’t been the most fruitful of tomato plants, probably because I haven’t as highly-prioritized my garden this spring/summer as I have in years past! I’ve fed the plants infrequently, have not hand-pollinated, and other than putting tomato cages around them, mulching them with homemade compost, and watering them faithfully, I haven’t really done much with the plants or to them. However, each plant has a number of tomatoes in varying stages of ripeness, with the very first tomatoes of they year JUST ready to pick.
And they were picked. By Buddy.
My husband Martin woke me up on Sunday morning, “Babe… I’m sorry to tell you, but Buddy ate all your tomatoes.”
I was up in a flash. “WHAT???”
“All the ripe ones. They’re gone. I was on the back patio and I could see him over by the garden, but I couldn’t really tell what he was doing until it was too late.”
I practically ran — with my 38 week pregnant belly — down the stairs and out the door to inspect the damage. Sure enough. Only bright green tomatoes remained.
I about cried.
And this is AFTER this past week where I have mourned him plucking four of the six muskmelons off the vine. That, while I was heartbroken, I sort of understood: They looked like oversized tennis balls. I could imagine his confusion.
But all my tomatoes??? Oh, that saddened me.
And then, he one-upped himself: He branched, later Sunday evening, into sampling the GREEN tomatoes. He ate at least 2-3, and I found three more, on the plants, with teeth punctures in them.
Oh, Buddy! How could you?? Rascal dog!!
The only good news about this is that, a short time later, he puked up the green tomatoes. I’m hoping that the experience is enough for him to stop nabbing my tomatoes. And in the meantime, my husband is going to rifle around in our shed and see what he can find for some temporary fencing.
*They have a Groupon going!! $24 for 15 lbs of Crooked Sky organic, heirloom tomatoes.
Posted on June 17, 2013, in Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA), Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Desert Gardening, Dogs, Organic Gardening, Pregnancy, Sad Things, The Dear Hubby. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.