Hence he's always viewed the yard as a kind self-serve deli, where he can score some calories. And since his palate can, at best, be called undiscriminating, Charlie's only unsupervised trips to the yard are for doing business. Fortunately, the temptation of a good milkbone or other legal treat has usually brought him running back when done. Until last week.
I don't know what it is (I suspect cat poop), but something new and apparently edible became available at the side of the house. He'd go outside, ostensibly to do business, and then make a bee-line for the side yard and start snuffling through the leaves I'd let collect there. Only my going up to him and teasing him and promising a puppy treat would break his concentration and get Charlie back in the house.
I've raked up all those leaves now, and with any luck gotten rid of the doggie delicacies. Assuming the cat plays along too, hopefully the cycle will be broken. Keep your fingers crossed.