Tales of Turkey Thieves

Luke has a confession.

You’d never guess it from his super sweet golden retriever face, but the old, red dog has a problem. He’s a cleptomaniac.

Leave a loaf of bread, a glass bowl full of buffalo meat or even a bag of avocados too close to the edge of our really tall counters, and he’ll swipe it.

His scavenging isn’t limited to food. He regularly raids the bathroom for loose rolls of toilet paper (or their empty tubes) that he can shred and strew all over the house.

This week, he got into the Thanksgiving trash bag. Zach said he noticed something was up when he saw Scooby the elderpin chasing the golden retriever around the yard. Luke had a mouthful of turkey carcass.


Apparently, Luke and former foster dog Minnie are still birds of a feather. Her mom tells me Minnie waited two days before ripping into the bag with the bird stuff in it.


Lesson for both households: Keep food trash completely inaccessible to dogs. Always.

Anyone with thieving dogs should always bear in mind that too much turkey or ingestion of turkey bones can be dangerous for dogs.

Tip: If you are concerned that your dog may have eaten turkey bones, you may need to call your vet. You may also immediately feed him pumpkin, bread or anything similar that can help cushion the sharp stuff so that it may pass more safely through his system. Then, just monitor the doo-doo for a few days. If anything looks suspicious, get to the vet right  away.

We used the pumpkin-and-bread trick when we were worried Luke might have consumed glass shards along with the bison meat he knocked off the counter.

I know Luke and Minnie aren’t the only dogs out there who snuck themselves some Thanksgiving bird this year. There’s a turkey-gobbling German Shepherd at

Do you have a story about a dog stealing the main course or holiday leftovers?

Disclaimer: I’m not a vet. I’m just a dog owner sharing experiences that have worked for me and my dogs.

About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on November 30, 2012, in Dogs, Dogtography, Random Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Oh Luke… you silly boy! We’ve had some stealing go on in our house. There was the time Boomer walked off with a loaf of bread and ate everything but the heels and then the time that Dottie climbed onto chairs to get to the no bake cookies and when we caught her she started eating them even faster.

  2. Oh Luke, wicked fellow 😉 After our kleptomaniac Cocker Spaniel George stole a number of nectarines one of them got stuck in the wall of his gut. He was a very unhappy boy. The vet suggested lightly cooked leeks. The slime helps wrap the obstruction and out it comes. We have too many stories we could share but the best was at the end of a supper party. A Polish friend had gone to great effort to make Polish pancakes (made the cheese for the stuffing and a glorious coulis). There were 12 of us. Going to plate up our friend could only find seven pancakes… his tummy was as tight as a drum 😉

  3. haha Luke would make a better “Prince of Thieves” than Kevin Costner ;o)

  4. Reblogged this on The Daily Golden and commented:
    Awesome post worth sharing!

  5. So did Luke get a nice nap afterword? You know how Turkey meat Stealing and Turkey causes naps! Midnight doesn’t mess with my trash can in the kitchen. But let me pull out the bag and go out the room get my coat,hat etc and then she thinks it is fair game! I cme back and she had that bag ripped open standing in the middle of what she thought were to be her treats for the day! She also is a counter scoper but we have been working on that and she listens well as I have only caught her once scoping the counters in a few months. BabyGirl is just all around good . She never messes with the trash or the counters. You can leave a sandwich on the coffee table and leave the room and nether one will touch it.

    • You sure lucked out with BabyGirl! I actually don’t know if tryptophan has the same effect on dogs as it does in people. I have been giving the dogs chunks of leftover turkey daily since Thanksgiving. I haven’t noticed any more naps than usual…

  6. Bad Luke!

    Had a friend out for a visit years ago. His golden Squire took the entire turkey off the counter right after the first serving. He and his accomplices (our goldens) were on it like hyenas on a gazelle. Bad dogs! I can still smell the turkey dog farts, not good.

  7. OMG – Hilarious:) Our Oliver would theave hot hamburgers, brats and hotdotgs right from the grill and he also loved stealing pizza out of your hand. Have a Great One:)

  8. My first Golden Retriever once bagged the entire bowl of bread that was the stuffing for a 16 lb turkey. We had to kennel him for hours because we were afraid he’d drink too much and burst his gut.

  9. I had a dinner party main course ruined (or rather stolen) many years ago. The duck was ‘resting’ on the counter when a neighbourhood cat let itself in the back door and helped herself. She bought a friend along too. They must have been watching in the kitchen window for the hours it took to prepare! Both Bella and Beary are counter surfers – most dogs would be if they could reach I think 🙂

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