Mmmmm …Chocolate Bilby!

It was just before the time that my people called “Easter” that I found some really yummy things to eat. For some reason my family seemed quite upset that I’d been able to find this special food and had eaten it. I thought it was probably for me, after all, it was left on the floor …and it smelled soooo yummy I just had to have it! But, I suppose I should start this story at the beginning…

One day Mum said goodbye and left just me and my youngest man-brother together inside the big people-kennel. My brother was sitting in front of his computer (I know what that is because I’m a smart dog with a blog, remember? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and he was wearing black, round coverings over his ears, so he couldn’t hear much around him. He didn’t want to play with me so I snoozed for a while. When I woke up he still wouldn’t play so I decided to explore. Perhaps Mum had come home again and I didn’t hear her? Unbeknown to my brother, I quietly went upstairs and looked for her in all my brothers’ rooms but she wasn’t there. I looked in the little room with the noisy water bowl that I’m not allowed to drink out of. She wasn’t there. I went into the room with the spraying water things and she wasn’t there either. A block of white stuff was lying on the floor in one wet corner of that room though. It smelled interesting — like flowers — so I picked it up and tried to eat it as I walked back out. YUCK! After leaving a few tooth marks in it I dropped it on the furry floor out in the hallway.

Next I went into Mum’s sleeping place and sniffed around but she wasn’t there either, but I didn’t care as I’d found FOOD stashed in one corner! I managed to stick my head inside the big white skin on the outside and grab the wonderful, tasty smelling things inside. They had more skins on them — coloured shiny stuff that was chewy and didn’t taste very good — but I ate through most of that to get to the delicious innards. Suddenly the “talking things” made a loud noise and I heard my brother grab one downstairs (which stopped the horrible noise they made) and start talking into it. I ignored that and continued eating the delicious food as quickly as I could …it was soooo yummy! (Yes, I know I’ve already said that …but it really, really was!)

When my brother was interrupted at his computer by the “talking things” noise he must have wondered where I was because in an instant he was there with me, yelling at me and taking away my wonderful tasty treats. He seemed very upset, but I didn’t understand why. Then he went and used the talking thing again. Oh well, at least I’d gotten some of the food,ย  hehe …I’m such a clever dog!

Later that night I didn’t feel so good and I overheard Mum telling Dad about me eating the special food. This is more or less what she said:

“I went shopping today, planned to be gone for a while and left Son4 at home with the dog. I got a phonecall shortly afterwards from a very worried son. Shelby had found the Easter eggs stashed in our room and was halfway through a chocolate Bilby when Son4 discovered him. Fortunately the dog weighs 36kg and only ate about 80g of milk chocolate (dark is worse) and probably some foil wrapping. According to the vet, who I phoned shortly afterwards, things get really serious if a dog eats more than 60g per kilo of body weight of dog. Fortunately Shelby only ate about 1/27 of that dose ๐Ÿ™‚ …though it does mean he’s not going walkies tonight, just to be safe.”

Phew! She thought I only ate one of those yummy things! I didn’t feel well enough to go walkies anyway. I felt a bit sad and strange and sort of stumbled and tripped over my own paws a bit when I was downstairs earlier. I also needed to drink more from my water bowl than usual. My family all seemed to be worried about me for some reason.

A couple of days later all my man-brothers and their girlfriends were together in the people-kennel (I love it when there’s lots of people to play with me and pat me) and Mum said she’d go upstairs and divide up the Easter Eggs. I wondered what that meant.

She came back very upset, saying that even though she knew about me stealing some of her chocolate she didn’t realise I’d eaten so much of it! Anyway, she gave everyone more of the yummy smelling stuff, except for me as I wasn’t allowed to have any. Later she wrote on her Facebook page about me:

“On Thursday I reported that my darling dog had eaten 1/2 a chocolate Bilby which amounted to only 1/27 of the maximum (possibly lethal) dose. Well today (Saturday) I decided to divide up all the Easter eggs to give to family and discovered my Cadbury Dream Bunny (white choc so only trace amounts of theobromine) was missing as was the milk chocolate egg (about 150g) I’d bought for my husband. So it turns out the dog has eaten far more chocolate than we first thought! …closer to 1/9 of the potentially lethal dose! Trouble is when he was discovered eating the choc Bilby the amount of wrappings on the floor only looked like it was from the Bilby …which means darling has had a nice dose of aluminium foil from the complete wrappers of the missing egg and bunny. Have checked the yard for shiny things but nothing so far. I should cook up a meal of mashed pumpkin for dearest dog to clean him out. :::sigh::: Meanwhile he seems quite happy and not bothered by it at all. But the extra chocolate does explain why he seemed a bit woozy and unsteady on his feet briefly on Thursday night and maybe why he seemed a bit slow and out of sorts today as well and misjudged the doorway and smacked his head into the door frame earlier …very glad puppy is still OK!”

Mmmmm… mashed pumpkin is good too! I had that once before when Mum thought I’d eaten some plastic things. There’s not much I don’t like …food is GOOD!

Mum found the following information (in case you don’t know about dogs and chocolate toxicity) from Wikipedia…

Dogs love the flavor of chocolate, but chocolate in sufficient doses is lethally toxic to dogs (and horses, parrots, and cats). Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical stimulant that, together with caffeine and theophylline, belongs to the group of methylxanthine alkaloids. Dogs are unable to metabolize theobromine effectively. If they eat chocolate, the theobromine can remain in their bloodstream for days, and these animals may experience fast heart rate, hallucinations, severe diarrhea, epileptic seizures, heart attacks, internal bleeding, and eventually death. A chocolate bar can be sufficient to make a small dog extremely ill or even kill it, depending on the type of chocolate. It would take large quantities of white or milk chocolate to harm a dog, but dark chocolate and baking chocolate can be deadly in small doses. Approximately thirty grams of baking chocolate per kilogram (1/2 ounce per pound) of body weight is enough to be poisonous. In case of accidental intake of chocolate by especially a smaller dog, contact a veterinarian or animal poison control immediately; it is commonly recommended to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. If chocolate ingestion is suspected (mostly dark or baking chocolate), hydrogen peroxide can be used to safely induce vomiting, then making a trip to the veterinarian is suggested. Large breeds are less susceptible to chocolate poisoning, but can still die after eating four ounces of chocolate.

Now, do you think I’ve learned my lesson about the dangers of chocolate? Nope, of course not. I’m a dog, right? Therefore to my way of thinking, food, ANY food, is GOOD! …especially if it smells and tastes like chocolate!


P.S. Mum said I should add some information about Bilbies, in case some of my readers don’t know what they are.

The bilby (Macrotis lagotis) is an Australian species of nocturnal omnivorous animal in the Peramelemorphia order. The common name “bilby” usually refers to this species, but can also be distinguished from Macrotis leucura (the lesser bilby) that became extinct in the 1950s by the name greater bilby. It is also referred to as the dalgyte, pinkie, or “rabbit-eared bandicoot”. Bilbies live in arid areas of central Australia. Their range and population is in decline.

Once widespread in arid, semi-arid and relatively fertile areas, the bilby is now restricted to arid regions and remains a threatened species. It makes its home in a burrow that spirals down, making it hard for its predators to get in. The bilby prefers arid habitats because of the spinifex grass and the acacia shrubs. Read more here.

To raise money and increase awareness of conservation efforts, bilby-shaped chocolates and related merchandise are sold within many stores throughout Australia as an alternative to Easter bunnies.

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4 thoughts on “Mmmmm …Chocolate Bilby!

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  1. Glad to hear that you are ok Shelby! You had better listen to your mom she knows what she is talking about! No chocolate. Such great information you share here…And I like saying “bilby” over and over it is a a fun word. Interesting little creature too. Hee hee ๐Ÿ™‚

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