This week, my Thursday Thirteen list is a ‘top ten plus 3’ of things that the dogs in my life have eaten. Needless to say, mundane items like food and cookies aren’t included.
Eaten: The solid oak, two hundred year old step off my farmhouse door.
Eater: Murfee, my (English) Mastiff
Notes: The courtyard outside the back door of my farmhouse was cobblestoned brick, which grew nicely warmed by the sun. Murfee would lie there for hours, surveying the yard, barking at passing clouds and foolish cyclists, and contentedly chewing on the door step. Six inches of solid oak had survived two hundred years of history, but 200 pounds of Mastiff proved to be too much for it.
Eaten: my bank deposit
Eater: Jake, Doberman
Notes: Jakey, like all Dobies, was an agile jumper. I thought I’d secured the living room pretty well, but he jumped up onto my partner’s desk, and tore into the canvas sack with my store’s bank deposit. Three hundred plus dollars in cash, assorted credit card slips and a few checks all ended up in Jake’s stomach. Some of the cash was recoverable. Don’t ask.
Eaten: an almost brand new Ferragamo pump in black satin
Eater: Tessa, Hammer and siblings
Notes: I’m not a shoe fanatic, or least not overly so, and I’d normally never pay more than $150 for a pair of shoes (unless they were really good riding boots). The black satin pumps were a gift, and I do admit I liked them enough to ignore my misgivings about wearing shoes that cost more than my entire outfit combined. Unfortunately, I left them inside their rather lovely box on a chair in the living room, which would have been fine if Tessa and the rest of her ten week old siblings hadn’t knocked over the baby gate and gotten into the room. Much crying and wailing on this one, but not quite as much as there was for…
Eaten: Custom ordered, embroidered ‘French Bulldogs Rule’ pillow
Eater: Tessa, Hammer and Siblings
Notes: Destroyed in the same foray that nabbed them the shoes. They had a busy afternoon.
Eaten: Christmas tree ornaments made out of flour and water paste, assorted candy canes
Eaters: no proof, but I assume that Tara (Tessa’s mom), Daisy the Bulldog and Murfee the Mastiff all helped in equal measure
Notes: they were polite and careful thieves, and only ate the ornaments and candy canes that were on the back of the tree.
Eaten: Drop n’ Flop Pet Bed, giant sized
Eater: Murfee, mastiff
Notes: Drop n’ Flops are great pet beds. They’re water proof, they conform to the shape of your pet, they’re outdoor safe and the dogs love them. Unfortunately, they’re stuffed with the same stuff modern day bean bag chairs are stuffed with – teeny, tiny styrofoam beads, like itsy bitsy versions of the ones used for shipping goods. Picture a sack big enough to comfortably cradle a 200+ pound mastiff, stuffed full of those tiny little beads. Now picture it torn open, with the beads blowing everywhere. On a windy day. We found beads for months, everyplace. We found them blocks away…
Eaten: wooden handles on brand new, leather La-Z-Boy recliner and sofa
Eater: not sure, but clues point to Delilah, Bunny and possibly Tula
Notes: Sean has wanted leather La-Z-Boy furniture forever. We never considered, however, the ramifications of such temptingly shaped chunks of wood, at such a perfect height. They’re now coated with about three bottles worth of bitter apple, thus rendering the action of simultaneously reclining the furniture and eating a sandwich a very bad idea.
Eaten: Every single wooden coffee table I have ever owned
Eater: Every single puppy I have ever had, and a few very bad adults
Notes: At my house, pups graduate to the family room by about six weeks. They split their time between the play pen, and being on the floor with the other dogs. Of course we try to never, ever let them loose without supervision, but accidents happen, and they tend to happen to my coffee tables. I swear to God, the next one I buy will be wrought iron. Or just a big chunk of rock, whatever.
Eaten: the corners on every plastic dog crate we have
Eater: mostly Tessa
Notes: Tessa is a really good dog. Once she’d reached maturity, Tessa never had an accident in the house, and she never chewed on shoes or furniture – except for plastic dog crates. Plastic crates are Tessa’s crack cocaine. She craves them like some dogs crave Tennis balls. Thanks to Tessa, every plastic crate I own looks moth eaten.
Eater: Skye the Mastiff
Notes: Skye was a really good girl, unlike her predecessor, who never met a piece of wood she wouldn’t happily destroy. Skye loved her kongs and her nylabones, and left the rest of the house alone, until the day she decided that the wall behind ‘her’ futon needed a window. Since she didn’t have opposable thumbs, she simply chewed a hole in the drywall. The outer brick wall, however, defeated her.
Eaten: wainscoting and baseboards
Notes: Like Skye, Murfee preferred to eat what she could most easily reach – in this case, the wainscoting and baseboards behind her dog bed in the family room. It was an outdated look anyways…
Eaten: an entire frozen turkey
Eater: Lizard, honorary dog
Notes: Lizard was a big, ugly, one eyed, one eared, muzzle scarred, broken tailed dump cat who lived with me as a child (notice that I don’t say I ‘owned’ Lizard. This is not for peta-ish reasons of political correctness, but rather because no one could ever conceive of owning an entity like Lizard). Lizard jumped into a flat bed we’d unloaded at the local dump, and came home with us, after which no mouse within ten miles would dare to come near our house, and the resident dogs quaked in fear of catching Lizard’s attention. He once road all the way to end of our driveway, perched claws deep in the back of my brother’s screeching, frantic Doberman. One day, I watched Lizard drag an entire frozen chicken across the room, after he’d stolen it off of the counter top. He growled and hissed the entire length of the room, refusing to let go of the bird, no matter that it outweighed him by a good three pounds. Lizard seemed to consider it a challenge. He managed to get the turkey out of the porch door, and that was the last we saw of him for a few days. I can neither confirm nor deny that I held the door open for him so he could get the chicken outside.
Eaten: Barbie dolls (but just the heads, for the most part)
Eater: Murfee, Mastiff
Notes: I’ll just re-print the story I wrote for Murfee’s memorial page, since it sums the entire incident up:
Throughout most of her life, Murfee radiated a calm sense of dignity. She could be playful when it suited her, but for the most part she truly fit the description “Grandeur and Good Nature”. What few people knew was that, underneath that sophisticated demeanor, there lay the heart of a wonderfully weird dog.
For one thing, she had a Barbie fetish. I have lost count of the number of decapitated Barbie corpses we found floating around the house.The mystery of where the heads went was solved one day in our back yard, and remains one of our fondest memories of the dog my ex-husband still calls “the Natural Disaster”.
We saw Murf galloping wildly around the back yard, whipping her head from side to side. Every so often, she’d stop and roll around on the grass, gazing dolefully at her rear end. When she got closer, we saw she had something attached to her butt – we thought it was a burr, or a clump of thistle grass. As she raced past us, we saw that it was a half digested Barbie head, dangling from her rear by just the hair and swaying eerily in the breeze. Spooky, to say the least. As she ran around the yard, Barbie head trailing behind her, my husband and I debated whether or not we should try to catch her and detach the grisly remnant of her snack. We were both laughing too hard to actually do anything about it.
We hope there are Barbie heads in heaven, too. Preferably hairless.