Monday, May 07, 2007

Public service announcement

Fundy Post readers, especially Harvest Bird, need to be aware of the following message from the Wrigley gum FAQ:
Is it OK for my dog to chew/eat sugarfree gum?

Some of our chewing gums contain xylitol, which is a safe, even beneficial, additive which has been used in food, confectionery and other products - like toothpaste - as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for over 30 years and has been widely approved by regulatory authorities all over the world.

Although chewing gum products are not intended for use by dogs, cats or other pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has reported that xylitol may be toxic for dogs.

In fact, in addition to food products containing xylitol, the AVMA recommends that many foods that are perfectly safe for humans be kept away from pets because of potential harm - including coffee grounds, grapes/raisins, chocolate, onions, yeast, dough, tea, macadamia nuts, alcohol, fatty foods, salt, avocadoes and garlic. For more information, please go to
Thank you for your cooperation. Normal service will now be resumed.


harvestbird said...

I do like the way in which the answer to the question first emphasises how safe the additives are for you and me, before coughing, shuffling, muttering "toxic for dogs", and then creating a distraction: look at all the other stuff that's toxic for dogs!

Mine is a puritanical household when it comes to what the dogs eat. The only non-kibble treats they're allowed are naan bread and birthday cake (mine), the latter of which is clearly seasonal.

Also, the linking phrases used in this extract are crummy (no point of contrast following "Although" and, as for "In fact" ... ugh).


Paul said...

I read the list of stuff for pets to avoid - coffee, grapes/raisins, chocolate, onions, yeast, dough, tea, macadamia nuts, alcohol, fatty foods, salt, avocadoes and garlic - and realised that is pretty much my diet.

harvestbird said...

But that's fine--sharing one's diet with one's pets is anthropomorphism, the culinary variant of people who dress their dogs in jumpers that match their own.

My crew will spit out anything that isn't meat, cake or bread. The main problem with the latter for small dogs is that it expands in the gut, with explosive results.

Paul said...

No it's not fine; anthropomorphism of any kind is a bad thing, especially when it involves jumpers.

Apropos this and your recent post, do you think Paris will be able to take her dog to Jail?

harvestbird said...

That's what I meant (and about which I see I was unclear)--it's fine that you can't eat the same diet as your animals, since it prevents anthropomorphism, of which I, like you, disapprove.

I'm not sure that Paris interacts much with her dog anymore. Of late it's been all about the chinchilla, or marmoset, or other generic rodent-ish companion. Either way, jail is no place for animals that can be carried in a purse.

Paul said...

My bad - I should have read your comment more carefully.

I really shouldn't make references to celebrities, since I am never up with the game. So, her companion is a rodent now. A distasteful comment springs to mind, akin to yours that you deleted.

harvestbird said...

Well, the episode of South Park in which Paris Hilton and Mr. Slave had a whore-off, and the heiress was absorbed whole into Mr. Slave's lower colon, probably trumps anything you or I could come up with in this regard, although I don't think either of us should treat that assertion as a challenge.

And I do think my comment would have been clearer if I'd used a semi-colon to imply juxtaposition of ideas rather than an em-dash to imply continuity. What would Strunk & White do, I wonder?

Paul said...

Lower colon; semi-colon: what indeed would they do?

Your comment encouraged Gmail to come up with a link to the Extreme Colon Cleanser, a link which I dared not follow. I wonder whether this is a medical or grammatical device.

harvestbird said...

When I was in my first year of university teaching I suggested at a markers' meeting that the reason many students have poor sentence construction is because they don't want to ask their tutor a question that includes the word "colon". Nobody thought this was funny; indeed, some of my colleagues even turned away from me slightly when I said it.

Mimi Smartypants who is the most famous writer at diaryland (my old home) links here to this which she calls "gross and insane" (suggesting pseudo-medical over bad-grammatical).

Paul said...

Mimi Smartypants? Please explain.

harvestbird said...

Mimi Smartypants is a pseudonymous epistolary writer from Chicago, hosted on Diaryland. She was one of the early habituées of that site, and has had the distinction of having turned some of her work into a book. She has a particularly good line in booze stories and trash talking.