Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend who owns a small, feisty dog whose name I won’t mention for fear of embarrassing both dog and owner with my story about certain dog misbehavior that occurred recently.  It seems that the anonymous dog, who obviously had more curiosity than sense and sharper teeth than most of her canine cousins, picked up a check I had sent to my friend that had dropped to the floor while she sat at her desk preparing a deposit slip.  The dog in question didn’t quite know how to handle money, but with her intuitive female dog faculties knew that money is something most humans drool over, yodel about, and base their lives upon.  So she tore the check in half and ate one half.  The check did nothing for her taste buds, and what it did for her digestion is not worth writing about.  Furthermore, she couldn’t even brag about obtaining a $100 check because it wouldn’t help her status in the canine world as dogs don’t give a doggone about money.   I plan to re-issue the check and will request that my friend wait for the dog to bed down for the night before she prepares another deposit slip.

That was the first incident about dogs and their exotic appetites.  The second incident involves my old tennis shoes, which, after miles of walking, raking, and wading through mud, had achieved that scruffy look dogs admire.  They carried a palpable scent that reeked suspiciously of wet dog hair, so…So when I left them on my front doorstep one night, I discovered them the following morning in the yard, minus toes and heels, chewed to death.  I peered through the dining room window and spied a white dog with oddly-shaped black patches, sniffing around a large blue beach ball he had obviously stolen from the dormitory next door and was attempting to swallow it.  You can picture the results had he succeeded.
These incidents caused me to ponder: Is here a shortage of dog food in the world?  Has the proverbial dog bone been relegated to the graveyard in this high tech, papered over, rubber-shoed world in which we now live?  I consulted Great Uncle Ed’s book, ZIP: AN AUTOBIOGRAPY OF A FOX TERRIER, and discovered some facts about one dog who lived back in the early twentieth century:

Zip says: “The entire Greenlaw family speaks dog fluently but they seem to think I should learn a little English.  This part of my education was delegated to Dora.  Ida tried to teach me violin and piano but gave up the effort after I chewed the strings off of her Stradivarius several times.  And she acted likewise in my piano work.  One night I had the piano going in good shape.   It woke Ida and she came to the pianorium to listen to my strange composition.  I wasn’t even thinking of eighth notes, quarter notes, or whole notes – I was after a whole rat that stole a piece of my cheese.  I would have caught him if Ida had not pulled me out of the piano case…”

I guess this piece confirms the fact that dogs have strange tastes and will, like Cajuns, eat anything at any time.  I close with some sentimental doggerel my Great Uncle Ed quoted in ZIP, lines borrowed from Edmund Cooke:

“And all he got was bones and bread,
or the leavings of soldiers’ grub
but he’d give his heart for a pat on the head
for a friendly tickle and rub.

If there is no place for love like that,
For such four-legged fealty – well!
If I have any choice, I’ll tell you flat,
I’ll take my chance in hell.”

And so much for dog food and doggerel!  I will be away from my desk for over a week and am putting the lawn chairs indoors because who can tell what's next on a canine’s menu?  

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