Stanetti's Cauldron
or: How Much Salt Goes into Dog Food?

Professor Stanetti, who teaches animal husbandry at the Agricultural faculty of the Zagreb University, owns a small animal collection located somewhere between the Zagreb Zoological garden and the faculty; there are pigeons, rabbits, chicken, today he has one American Pit Bull Terrier bitch, but in the past had many other breeds, including at one time a large pack of German Jagdterriers. These dogs were fed off the large vessel in which professor Stanetti cooked whole chicken, rabbits, and various other dead and of course undressed small animals, together with the skin and entrails and everything. This is all very good feed for dogs, as in the wild they would eat all they catch and all the carrion they find whole, sometimes starting on entrails and contents of the stomack, and all this stuff being cooked prevents any infectious disease and nasty bacteria from doing any harm. There is but one drawback: this soup stinks, and badly. The dogs do not mind, there even once was a study made to find what flavor would make dogs eat all those untasty canned and dry foods, and it came out with a perfect additive that would make dogs eat anything - but the study was a failure, because people did not exactly like that sort of smell. Well anyway the nigh neighbours were black rhinos at the zoo, and they did not seem to mind either, so professor sometimes brought his students to show them at first hand some practical things. He would show them the cauldron and lectured them on how to feed dogs, what's their natural food and what can be substituted, and how because meat kas a lot of potassium in it some natrium has to be added in the form of the table salt to preserve the balance of the two elements. "Now we have to taste it to see if there is enough salt," he would dip a finger into the brew and lick it. "You have to try it too," he encouiraged his students, "you must put some salt into the dog's food but not as much as you put into your own." Some students were too courious and overcame the yuckiness and tasted the stuff indeed. "But you did not watch closely enough!" explained the professor, "I dipped in the middle and licked the index finger." One of the oldest trick in the world of universities, sold to medical students even since the tasting of urine for sugar in diagnosing diabetes was substituted by more exact methods. These students for sure remembered how much salt to put in dog food.
last revised july 26 2000