Southern Tier Comedy Shop
Our high-energy dog is quite the yard artist
By Jim Pfiffer
IllustratED by Filomena Jack
This is part II of the saga of Kody, the puppy that my wife, Shelley and I adopted.
We bought three electric blankets this past winter, not because it was cold, but because our puppy, Kody, ate them.
You read that correctly; our 14-month-old dog EATS electric blankets.
Kody is a Heeler shelter rescue dog. He has a beautiful short-haired tawny coat, a well-defined set of muscles and a set of pearl-white teeth that can chew through a railroad spike and a locomotive if it stays still long enough.
He chews, gnaws and/or eats everything that fits into his maw, including (so far): shoes, sneakers, boots, clothing, pillows, books, wire bread wrapper closures, pencils, photographs, a TV remote, a burned-out nightlight bulb, laundry basket, three pairs of reading glasses and a slow-moving FedEx delivery man, and that was all in just one day.
The electric blankets were his favorite because he could lazily sprawl across them while tearing them apart and chewing and swallowing the FRIGGIN’ WIRES IN THE BLANKET! Fortunately, the blankets were turned off or Kody’s short hair would have become a wire-haired Mohawk. I saw the vet’s X-rays of the tangles of wires in his titanium-enamored digestive tract. If I could have somehow plugged him in, we could have used him as a lap and foot warmer on cold winter nights.
The wire meals didn’t hurt Kody as they safely went in one end and out the other.
All my pet dogs were gnawers, but none of them had an appetite like Kody.
He’s part beaver. Wooden targets are his favorite, from sticks and furniture legs to baseboards, stairs, tree bark and the wooden columns on the side porch. He doesn’t just chew wood and spit it out. He swallows it. His stomach must be equipped with termites using chainsaws and axes.
I’m afraid to invite my uncle to visit us. He has a wooden leg.
When we catch Kody in the chewing act, we pull open his shark jaws with a pry bar and a floor jack to remove the carpet piece, ballpoint pen or the table leg he’s chomping on.
When we don’t catch him, we discover his gastric misdeeds when we take him outside to do his dog duty.
I’ve never seen such colorful, well-textured and imaginative dog poop. Leanardo da Kody utilizes pieces of socks, sticks, foil candy wrappers and colorful magazine pages like a fine artist who employs brushes, oil paints and textiles to create unique works of intestinal art.
The green grass in our yard is his canvas. He has decorated it with colorful murals, monuments and an electric blanket wire sculpture that looks like Clifford the Big Red Dog.
My neighbor recently spotted me bending over and intently studying something in the yard.
“Did you lose something?” she asked.
“Nope,” I replied. “I found something. My missing argyle sock. I love how he used the red Lego for symmetry.”
Kody’s appetite for everything makes me be careful where I leave my truck keys and wallet. I don’t want to find the remains of a Toyota logo and Ben Franklin’s picture in his backyard artwork.
When Kody’s not gnawing apart our environment, he has a go at us. He loves to bite our feet, ankles, hands and arms. Our pant legs and shirt sleeves are damp with Kody spit and our ankles and wrists are peppered with puppy bite marks.
Illustrated by Filomena Jack
The vet said the heeler breed is so named because the dogs were bred in Australia for droving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. The dogs did this by nipping at the heels of the cattle.
When we take him for walks, he thinks we’re a couple of Texas longhorns, as he continually nips at our heels and feet, trying to “drove” us to the corral, or gnawing on the leash, sticks, trees, utility poles and passing vehicles.
“Why do we keep a dog that bites the hand that feeds it and literally eats us out of house and home?” you ask.
Because we love him, have fun with him and he makes life more exciting and surprising. He’s intelligent, observant, alert and a great watchdog (when he’s not eating the watches). He shows us his love and appreciation by excitedly greeting us at the door as if we had been gone for days. He cuddles next to us on the couch or in bed and happily licks our faces in the morning to say, “It’s time to get up and take me outside. I have a lot of artworks to create!”
To contact and learn more about Filomena Jack and to see her artwork go to www.FilomenaJackStudio.com.