When my wife and I adopted a potcake puppy on our island honeymoon, my intention was to raise her to be the ultimate fishing dog. I even named her Ava after the AVA Diamond Jig, which happens to be one of the finest saltwater fishing lures ever created. But I’m running into a “be careful what you wish for” situation, because she not only loves fishing, but she loves to eat fish…and I mean the whole thing, spines, guts and all while they’re still flopping. You can see in the poorly-shot cell phone clip below that if she happens to get hold of a creek chub or bluegill, there’s no getting the dang thing back.

I don’t give her the fish, but if one flops out of my hands, I’m not often quick enough to grab it away. Or if I release a fish and it doesn’t swim off immediately, she’s in the water after it. Dave DiBenedetto over at the Man’s Best Friend blog recently posted about dogs that retrieve fish, and it seems like a cool trick. Likewise, I used to know a party boat captain who’s Lab would gnaw on sand sharks and sea robins like raw hides. It seemed like there was no harm done. But today I read this news story about a pup that almost died from eating raw salmon. Turns out some fish carry parasites that are harmless to humans and lethal to dogs. Salmon and trout happen to be two of them.

Being an island scavenger is in Ava’s genetics, and she’s eaten some stuff I don’t even want to talk about with no ill effect. But this story got me thinking I might need to be extra careful with fish. Does your dog have a taste for your catch of the day? – JC