Friday, November 30, 2007

Up It Goes

When I was little, we had a German Shepherd/Alaskan Husky dog named Daniel who would eat, quite literally, anything.


No exceptions.

When he was a puppy, he ate my big wheel. It was a beautiful pink big wheel with tassles streaming from the handle bars. When he was finished with his afternoon snack, all that remained was the thin metal rod used as the big wheels's foundation. His poop was full of pink chunky plastic for weeks.

We moved to a home that had a plum tree in the backyard and every year, as over-ripe plums fell to the ground, he would eat them. All of them. And over-abundance of over-ripe plums is not kind on the digestive system and he would leave piles of bright violet poop all over the yard. (But hey, at least you knew where not to step!)

Once my mother decided to grow onions along the back of our home. She planted seven onion plants and nurtured them along until one night she announced the onions would be ready for harvest the next morning. The next morning arrived, we trooped outside to pick onions and stared in awe. Not a shred of those onion plants was left. Not one shred. Daniel had eaten them root to tip. He stunk for a month.

It was our family's habit to finish a meal, clear the table, and then let Daniel in to clear the floor. No crumb escaped his detection. He would burst through the back door, scramble toward the dining room (sliding on the linoleum more often than not) and then frantically snuff and lick his way across the floor. My mom mopped often but even she was no match for Daniel.

One morning, my dad filled a bowl with Cheerios and accidentally knocked it to the floor before pouring milk on it. Cheerios as far as the eye could see. Naturally, this wasn't a problem because we had the most up-to-date version of Canine Hoover available so my mom swept the Cheerios into a nice, neat pile and called Daniel in.

At this point I should tell you that the linoleum in our dining room was a light yellow. Cheerios, as I'm sure you're aware, blend very nicely into light yellow.

Daniel raced toward the dining room, his nose already working overtime, and began to search for the source of food. He looked around but didn't see the pile. He raced under the table but still missed it. So he put his nose to the floor and began snorting in huge chunks of air searching for the Cheerios.

He found them.

Unfortunately for him, he was still snorting when he did. He stuck his face into that pile of Cheerios and snorted them right up his nose.

If a dog can look comically surprised, he did. Then he started sneezing. Violently. Every sneeze sprayed Cheerios around the room. It took a while to cleanse his sinuses of every vestige of breakfast cereal but he did it and seemed none the worse for wear.

I won't tell you how we cleaned those Cheerios up (besides, if you're at all familiar with how dogs operate, you probably already know).

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