Doggone It, Fido!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

What are dogs but perennial toddlers who never grow out of their destructive periods? They're always gnawing on the coffee table, swallowing jewelry, knocking over a container of grape juice onto a white rug, flaying the goose-feather insides of a friend's jacket.

These antics may require trips to the vet, a firm scolding or hysterical laughter. But they also warrant a fond retelling every now and then. We asked for stories about your dog's bad behavior, and you sent us more than 180 e-mails, from the graphic to the epic and the pedestrian to the profound.

Some were even pedagogical. For example, a couple of readers curtly informed us that there are no bad dogs. Only bad owners.

Maybe. Either way, don't let your dog try this at home:

But What if the Scowler Reads This?

Like any other dog, Frisco enjoyed his daily walks. We always made sure to avoid the house with the Scowler constantly working in his yard. His scowls caused me to deny Frisco the pleasure of sniffing even a blade of his immaculate, award-winning lawn.

It was a cold December night, when Frisco and I geared up and headed out the door. As we passed the Scowler's house, I couldn't help but stop and stare in awe at his glorious Christmas lights. I looked down and saw Frisco lift his leg to a bush. Suddenly the lights went dim, went bright and then the whole display went dark. Frisco and I locked eyes. We both ran like hell and were never figured out.

-- Cristina Garcia Dowdle, Waldorf

His Starbucks Habit Wasn't Cheap

We were having a quiet Friday evening when all of a sudden our dachshund Sammy came racing by. He was running all around the house, upstairs and downstairs, nonstop. Very concerned, I called the vet on emergency duty. He was just as perplexed. I decided to start searching the house. I found a torn-up package that had contained 12 caffeine pills, which equaled 24 cups of coffee. We called the vet back, and he said to wait until morning. We did not get much sleep because Sammy continued his racing, jumping on and off our bed all night. Next day we found him under our bed coming down from his caffeine high with our kitten Sheena keeping him company. It took about 24 hours for him to be normal again. We thought that his life expectancy would be shortened, but he lived to be 19!

-- Joanne Wolford, Manassas

And It Burns, Burns, Burns

My 11-year-old son and I bought 50 Fireballs (the spicy red balls that come in individual wrappers) to attach to his Valentines. We were laying out the cards and candy on the dining room table when we remembered a doctor's appointment. We raced out the door, leaving the Fireballs and Valentines on the table and our English Mastiff Buffy roaming the house. When we returned, we found a large smear of drool on the table, and no sign of the fireballs. For the next week, we pooper-scoopered Fireballs -- intact in their wrappers -- out of the yard.

-- Deborah and Sam Horst, McLean

Isn't This How World Wars Start?

My husband, an Air Force officer, was transferred to Germany in the 1970s, with the family to follow later. The children and I put Brandy, our lovable but paranoid poodle, in a wooden dog crate at Dulles Airport and watched him leave, howling and barking. All of us worried about him since it would be several hours until we could reclaim him in Frankfurt.


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