A Taste for Tissues

Our dog, the Kleenexovore.

As I write this, our dog, Coltrane, is sleeping peacefully next to my wife’s wastebasket in our bedroom. Which is good, because that means — for the moment, at least — that the dog’s not chowing down on the trash can’s contents.

Coltrane acquired a taste for tissues several years ago, and a quick spin around the Internet reveals this isn’t a proclivity unique to him. The consensus seems to be that many dogs regard used tissues as chew treats that are loaded with their humans’ scent.

The standard advice is to put lids on the trash cans, which unfortunately hasn’t worked in our house. Coltrane’s love for tissues has inspired him to figure out how to open nearly every lidded trash can we’ve discovered, including the kind operated by a foot pedal. As a result, I’ve taken to leaving my bedside wastebasket on top of my nightstand — a solution that’s proved effective, if not very aesthetically appealing.

What’s most frustrating, though, is that Coltrane decided a while ago that all tissues or paper towels are tasty, whether we’ve used them or not. The worst was when he got his paws on a nearly full pop-up box of tissues, which Coltrane proceeded to use as his own little snack dispenser for the whole afternoon we were out.

Article © 2009 by Michael Duck