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D.L. Stewart: Just call it ‘Reefer Muttness’

Dude, you say your stash is gone and you can’t remember toking it? Don’t automatically blame your partner, your roommate or your teenager.

Check your pooch.

According to a recent report in USA Today, pot-using pet owners are discovering increased marijuana usage by the family dog.

The problem is particularly acute in Colorado and Washington state, where recreational reefers have become legal. But it may also be increasing in the other 48 states, where the only people who use marijuana are those who need it strictly for medicinal purposes.

“We see dogs stoned out of their minds for days,” said Tim Hackett, the director of the Colorado State University veterinary teaching hospital. “They’re a mess.”

It’s not that dogs and their owners both are doing more doobies. Denver dogs, after all, are every bit as thumbless as other dogs have a great deal of trouble rolling joints. Even when they can, they’re constantly misplacing their lighters.

So dogs aren’t puffing it, they’re eating it.

“The pot goes in cookies and butters,” Hackett explained. “Dogs love that stuff, and they won’t eat just one.”

Like many enablers, the owners of doggie druggies frequently are in denial. When the owner of a Lab mix that was acting funny rushed it to the vet, the story related, she insisted there was no way he could have gotten into her dresser drawer, stuck his nose under some clothes and found the plastic bag filled with marijuana-laced snack mix. When she got home, she found the empty bag under her bed.

(Surprisingly, there have been no reports of increased marijuana theft by cats, who are great deal sneakier than dogs. But maybe they’re satisfied with their catnip fixes.)

While video of Spot being stoned might be amusing and probably would go viral on Facebook, it’s really not a giggling matter. As a Denver vet cautioned, “The dogs are terrified.” And medical complications can become serious, although that’s mostly from the butter and chocolate in those marijuana brownies, not from the weed itself.

I’m no expert on the subject of marijuana; I tried grass just one time and that was purely to research a column I was writing on the subject. I wish I could remember how that one turned out.

But if your dog seems to have the munchies, it’s not necessarily cause for alarm. Dogs always have the munchies.

If, on the other hand, your dog spends an inordinate amount of time watching Cheech and Chong movies, or has a lot of Grateful Dead on his iPod, you might want to consider intervention.

Or, at least, finding a better place for your stash.

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