It’s true. The last time Dave and I took a walk we saw white dog poop. It’s an artifact, like nesting Pyrex bowls in four colors. Aluminum tumblers. Wax lips.

White dog poop.

I’m not the first to wonder whatever happened to white dog poop. You used to see it everywhere. Now there are way more dogs and not as much poop, and it’s not likely to be white. We kids rolled around in the dirt all day, and between the chigger bites and the dog poop, we ended up with titanium immune systems that could thwart a virus from Mars. Today’s kids are staring at screens and staying tidy and trying to decide whether they’d rather perish from asthma or food allergies if the ear infections don’t take them down first.

As I recall the poop didn’t come out white but turned white after petrification, which took a day or two. I looked it up, and the reason we used to have white dog poop was we used to feed dogs bones. Not only bones, but they weren’t scoring the Alpo exclusively by any means. If you didn’t give your dog bones, you’d just have to throw the bones out. And the bones were just part of the meal. A lot of dogs will eat a pair of socks on a Frisbee with Tinker-toy topping just in case it was tasty, and you don’t even need to fuss with the presentation. Basically, anything you didn’t personally want to finish, including your homework, went to the dog.

The bones gave the poop a nice armature and the rest of the goo leached out, leaving a turd-shaped wad of white calcium. Like the white turd we just saw. I checked: there was fur in it. We do have coyotes. And they ain’t eating Alpo, unless that’s your cat’s name.

Our old dog Boomer had a little hitch in her git-along one day and I made an appointment with the vet, who instructed me to bring along some of her poop just for drill, so I followed her around the yard for an hour waiting for a deposit. She finally pushed out a stick of chalk and I gathered as many crumbles of it into a bag as I could and presented it to the vet, who looked at me in horror and derision. “What are you feeding that dog?” he demanded, in a tone of voice inappropriate to a man who was about to give me an invoice in three figures.

Well how the hell should I know? She wouldn’t eat kibble. That dog had the run of the neighborhood and was cute as the dickens and I know the next-door neighbor fed her from his own plate, and God knows what the bartender at the Homestead Tavern tossed her before dialing us up to let us know where she was (again). Probably bones. The vet scolded me up one side and down the other and handed me a bill for telling me our dog was too long for her legs and would probably have back trouble for the rest of her life. I took her home and she bounced out of the car and never limped again.

Evidently modern dogs are as sensitive to poor quality food as their owners are sensitive to advertising. All I know is you can get turned in to the Humane Society for feeding them Store Brand Kibble instead of premium fare with the correct balance of nutrition particles and organic bison nuts, designed to replicate an ancestral diet. It’s all antelope haunch, prairie grass, and caveman socks, and if it doesn’t drain your wallet, you should be ashamed.

But the dogs of my youth did fine, until they got run over. It was quick. a ’56 Buick wouldn’t even leave a wet spot.