The Dog With Nine Lives

This blog has become so politically charged these days, I almost feel guilty for failing to post mundane details of my life. So here goes...

Madison is my mom's dog. My sister picked Madison up from the shelter a couple years ago in the late fall. At the time, I remember commenting that getting a dog right before the New York winter hits probably wasn't the best of ideas. After all, who wants to take a dog outside in the winter cold to train it?

I was right. The dog went essentially untrained and now runs amuck, chewing up whatever it can get it's paws on. We marvel at what Madison has consumed thus far, wondering how the dog manages to go on living without regular operations to remove all sorts of household crap from her digestive tract.

Here's a running list of some of the stuff Madison has managed to snarf up. We're astounded she hasn't managed to off herself with some of this stuff...

  1. Several golf balls - We're rather fond of golf at the Hespos household. My brother-in-law Rob hits balls in the back yard on a regular basis. Occasionally, Madison will get a hold of a golf ball, chew it to the best of her ability, and swallow it. I have not witnessed what a golf ball ends up looking like after it's taken a trip through a dog's intestinal tract, but it's a semi-regular occurance with Madison. How it doesn't get lodged in her plumbing is beyond me.
  2. One motorcycle helmet - One Sunday, I decided to take my quad out for a trail outing and couldn't find my helmet in its usual spot in the garage. One of my first instincts was to take a look in the back yard, where I found several fragments of plastic and foam rubber. If you're familiar with what motorcycle helmets cost, you know how much this sucks.
  3. An entire box of Slug N' Snail bait - I didn't personally witness this, but Mom told me that Madison got loose in the garage and managed to eat an entire box of this stuff, box and all. You know what I'm talking about - that loose granular stuff you sprinkle on your walkways to kill all the slimy critters. One would assume that this stuff is highly toxic. For some reason, Madison was unaffected. Mom says she knows Madison ate it because fragments of the box came out in her poop.
  4. A pair of Timberland work boots - My Timberlands, which I use when riding and when doing yardwork are now low-tops. Madison chewed the leather right off the top. I had previously thought that Timberlands were indestructable.
  5. The TV remote - The one that operates the big-screen TV in the basement. It's been missing for quite some time. The one that operates the cable box downstairs is still with us, but bears telltale teeth marks all over it.
  6. A PVC plastic barbecue cover - While we weren't looking last summer, Madison dragged the cover off the barbecue with her teeth and proceeded to chow down. There is now a 2-foot hole in the middle of the cover. The plastic was definitely ingested.
  7. Three large chocolate Easter bunnies - This was the latest casualty (last weekend). Mom bought Kim, Rob and myself chocolate easter bunnies (she just can't let the kiddie aspects of Easter go...I'm 31 and she still makes me an Easter basket every year). Madison got a hold of them and wolfed them down. I know chocolate is supposed to be toxic to dogs, but this supports my theory that Madison is, in fact, a walking trash compactor. She's fine.

Madison's tolerance for pain and gastrointestinal distress is becoming legendary. Last fall, she learned how to break through her Invisible Dog Fence, getting a running start and leaping through it with a yelp as her collar administers a healthy shock. She does this to visit The Cute Dog Across The Street, which is to Madison what The Little Red Haired Girl is to Charlie Brown. We've cranked the invisible fence up to maximum. It does no good.

For several months now, Madison has been engaged in a protracted war with my sister's two cats. Madison's food and water are kept upstairs in the kitchen, while the cats have their food in the basement. Lately, Madison has taken to wolfing down her chow in the kitchen, waiting until she sees an open basement door, and raiding the cat food. This has earned her several claw wounds to the face from Kim's cats, not to mention scoldings from Kim, who feeds her cats that expensive Eukaneuba crap that keeps them from coughing hairballs all over the landscape.

Honestly, I don't know how Madison keeps herself out of doggie heaven. I once caught her getting ready to make a meal out of my '93 Les Paul (she opened her mouth wide and tilted her head to try to get her mouth around the guitar's body). One thing's for sure - If I ever find teeth marks on any of my guitars, there will be hell to pay.