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Monday, April 30, 2012

The world is apparently divided...

... into two kinds of people; those who let their dogs lick off the dinner plates, and those who are so repulsed by the very idea of dogs licking dinner plates that they will never again eat in your home.

Who knew?

Posted by David Bogner on April 30, 2012 | Permalink


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I was under the impression that it's forbidden by halacha to give dogs food on your plates if you want to use them again for people.

My son is a dog/dog owner trainer, deprogrammer and is against giving dogs human food. His dog doesn't go near a steak, because she has her food and humans have theirs.

Posted by: Batya | Apr 30, 2012 6:48:35 AM

Batya... I'd love to see the source for that halacha. It sounds to me like a bubamaisa from someone who falls into the latter category I described above. As to your second point, every dog owner has their philosphy of training. I come from a family that does not subscribe to that particular philosphy. Our dog obviously has her own food, bowl, water, etc. But she gets treats from the table, and even sleeps with us. If this means someone doesn't feel comfortable joining us in our home, I probably would enjoy spending time with our dog more than them. Just sayin'...

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 30, 2012 7:36:43 AM

We don't let our dog lick the plates, but we do let her lick the aluminum pans we use. She loves it, and it's funny to see her pushing the pans across the floor as she tries to get every last drop.

Posted by: AF | Apr 30, 2012 8:30:40 AM

My parents have a large wooden cutting board meant for chicken/meat. (It has some sort of prongs sticking up to hold it in place while you cut. Our dogs always got to clean that off.... We never gave them the plates for fear they would break them though.

Posted by: Robin | Apr 30, 2012 8:52:17 AM

I have no problem with it. I let my cat lick my yogurt container, too. Please give Lulu a tummy rub for me. She could lick my plate anytime!

Posted by: Rahel | Apr 30, 2012 11:21:44 AM

David, you broke the dog-owner code of silence - you're not supposed to *tell* people you do that! :)

Posted by: Alissa | Apr 30, 2012 3:38:56 PM

I thought that was the pre-cleaning-process so bits of food don't clog up the dishwasher.

Posted by: weese | Apr 30, 2012 3:50:37 PM

I'm with you, David. The late, much grieved for La Fluffita (she left us 3 weeks ago) was always allowed to lick our plates, as is her companion, Otis the cat. Similarly yoghurt pots. All previous feline and canine family members had the same privileges.

When her successor joins us, he/she too will enjoy plates and yoghurt pots, along with sofa and bedroom.
It's such a bore reminding folk that it's the furry people's home, not the theirs.

Posted by: chairwoman | Apr 30, 2012 4:35:19 PM

OMG. I never even considered that some dog owners would let their dogs lick their plates. That is disgusting. Dogs are awesome, but they are still dogs.
Dude, please reconsider this abhorrent act.
If invited, I would still be HONORED to eat in your home. But I'm bringing my own plates and utensils.

Posted by: anon | Apr 30, 2012 6:18:31 PM

Our large elderly cat loves to polish of the muesli and milk at the bottom of the bowl. We have a terrifyingly hot dishwasher, otherwise I would never allow it. So long as the plates are washed well.......

Posted by: Kiwi Noa | Apr 30, 2012 10:28:42 PM

Eeuwww. Hey, I adore my dog. I give her bits of our food from time to time- a bit of meat, usually. But I never, NEVER let her lick our plates. My spouse and kids, who are even more dog-crazy than I am, would never even think of letting her do that. That's just gross. Nope, I wouldn't eat at your house now that I know that. There's a line, dude.

Posted by: Karen | Apr 30, 2012 10:58:09 PM

I with you, Trepp. I grew up with a dog that generally cleaned everyone's plate before they were washed -- as Weese said, it was a pre-washing routine. Unfortunately, my dog (with me from age 13-28) suffered from issues which the vet claimed were tied to the human food. In his old age, we had to make him a concoction of hamburger (cooked and dried to remove the grease) and rice. After doing that for several years, I decided no more table scraps for my next dogs. We have 3 now and my kids would probably cringe at the thought of eating after the dog had licked the plate, but they're teenagers who grew up in an urban environment. I didn't grow up on a farm but my parents did and I grew up in a rural setting... letting the dogs lick our plates. That's how we roll.

Posted by: AliasJoe | May 1, 2012 6:43:36 PM

Your post brings to mind an old story about the man who's wife had invited another couple to dinner. The man thought the other couple were insufferable. Frankly, so did his wife, but she maintained that social pressures required that they be invited over for dinner and entertainment. The man was dreading the prospects of dinner and a full evening of conversation with his guests. So he devised a plan. After dinner he suggested the men clean up the dishes while the ladies retired to another room. While cleaning up the dishes, he put them on the floor and let the dog lick the plates clean. He then retrieved the "clean" plate from the dog, hastily dried it with a dish towel and put it back in the cupboard. The guest protested "Aren't you going to wash that??" to which the man explained that a dog's mouth is "much cleaner than a human mouth" and that they had done it this way for years". Needless to say, the guest made a brief excuse about not feeling well and he and his wife made an early departure. The husband admitted the prank to his wife, who was none too happy about her reputation being tarnished, but who did, nevertheless, see the humor in it. They only complaint was the husband couldn't recall exactly how many "dog clean" plates he had put in the cupboard, so they ended up washing all of the dishes, just to be sure.

I've always suspected this was an urban legend, but now I'm wondering how your wife would react if you tried the same ploy...

Posted by: AliasJoe | May 1, 2012 7:11:30 PM

@AliasJoe - that's a really funny story. Bet it's real :)

Posted by: It's Full of Stars | May 1, 2012 11:47:10 PM

Plates? Sure, why not? But we put Ozzy to work, instead of a sponga, I just drop stuff all over the floor and have him clean it for Shabbat.

PS and I thought the world was divided into those that let their dogs lick their toes and those who find that disgusting.

Posted by: Baila | May 2, 2012 12:03:39 AM

Given that dogs lick... errr, ahhh, all kinds of places, I'm not sure I'd care to have one licking my plates. But that's why HaShem gave us sinks, water, and dishwashing detergent.

The only question is, does the dog mind when you rub your tuchus on the rug?

Posted by: Elisson | May 2, 2012 8:02:11 AM

I'm on both sides of the fence, here. Theoretically, I'm not bothered about it. In practice, I wouldn't do it unless it's the tail end of a yogurt carton I'm done with and about to throw out.

Of course, our family dogs have always been Irish wolfhounds, which kinda changes the equation. When the dog could easily lick your plate while you're still using it, you don't really want to start any customs you can't take back. There's already been the notorious incidents of the pie, the ambrosia fruit salad, and the gingerbread house, all of which possibly might have been inadvertently encouraged by giving a certain dog with a very long memory a taste of something yummy.... (whistles, acts innocent)

Posted by: Maureen | May 3, 2012 4:48:27 AM

If I am ever in Israel, I will come by for dinner (and you can't stop me). I will be pleased to let any and all dogs you have lick my plate.

Posted by: Balabusta in Blue Jeans | May 28, 2012 7:14:06 AM

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