Be Careful Dumpster Diving

A cautionary tale

Shelly Fagan
7 min readJun 30, 2022


Photo by Erfan Banaei on Unsplash

Some of you brave souls liberate items from dumpsters and I am here to tell you why that isn’t a good practice. Whether its food, household goods, or even electronics, there may be a very good reason for the item to be in the trash. And, it may not be super obvious.

Years ago, I adopted a real-life prince in the form of a Shih Tzu named Benny. He had a chronic health condition that plagued us for years and he eventually passed. He was the goodest boy.

Benny spent most of his long happy life medicated on puppy prednisone to keep his symptoms at bay.

All about Shih Tzus

Photo by Lucia Macedo on Unsplash

Shih Tzus are usually fairly small aloof little mutts, and this somewhat delicate toy breed usually weighs in at south of twelve pounds. Benny was an outlier — a big, beefy boy who’s sturdy body tipped the scales at 20 pounds thanks to doggy doping to control his health condition.

The thing about Shih Tzus is that they were palace dogs of ancient times, pampered by servants, and selectively bred to enjoy luxury. My dog was conscious of this fact and took every opportunity to remind me that my purpose was to serve him.

Historians believe the Shih Tzu is a direct descendant of the Lhasa Apso. Given as wedding gifts for a safe 10-month passage from Tibet to China, Tibetans believed Shih Tzu possessed the souls of monks who fell from grace. Shih Tzu History: How the Royal Tibetan Dog Was Saved From Extinction

Benny only rode in the car if he was hoisted up so he could see out the window while the a/c blasted cold air on him. He regularly spit out the treats the vet gave him and then stared at the doctor with disdain for not serving him cheese. He merely tolerated affection of any kind and hated all other dogs for not living up to his standards.

These pooches do not play fetch. When you throw a toy, they run after it, pick it up and go lay down with it. You get a sense they are chasing whatever you threw because they don’t want someone else to have it. “It’s mine,” they seem to be saying, “now go make me…



Shelly Fagan

Complicated subjects made accessible. Politics, Basic Income, Philosophy. I follow back.