Readers report: Dogs eat the darndest things

Last week, after discovering a half-eaten $10 bill, I put pen to paper (who am I kidding … it’s always fingers to keyboard nowadays) and told the tale of Teddy the Ten-Spot Eating Dog.

Teddy the Dog ( scratches an itch the day he arrived at his new home. (BDN photo by John Holyoke)

Teddy the Dog ( scratches an itch the day he arrived at his new home. (BDN photo by John Holyoke)

I suspected that others might have their own stories to share, and opened the floor to email and Facebook tales of woe from BDN readers and my friends.

I was right. And though I never heard from anyone whose dog ate their homework, I came to realize that I got off cheap: If the worst Teddy does is gobble down a half a $10 bill, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Here, then, are some of your contributions (with some editorial commentary):

From Lisa Diffell, Corinth:  Amos is a 2-year-old giant schnauzer of impeccable breeding, incredible disposition and [he] moves like poetry in motion. He now wears, whenever outdoors, homemade screen masks, a hood-like headgear, that allows him to drink, pick up sticks, bark and pant, and play, but unable to swallow any solid object. Amos has had four intestinal obstruction surgeries to remove five round smooth rocks, about the size of large walnuts. I’d be thrilled if all he ate was an occasional $20 bill!

Rocks? Really? Rocks? Don’t read this, Teddy.

From Pete J. Flansburg: When my [German shorthaired pointer] was a pup, he chewed up a book. The title? Delmar Smith’s “How to Train Your Gun Dog.”

Puppy to Peter: “Bite this. I’ll train myself.”

From Bud Farwell: Maybe the Hamilton was counterfeit and Teddy just won’t pass it. Good dog!

From Bill Robinson: I had an English setter 15 years ago eat a tube of industrial caulking. The vet in Machias saved the dog’s life by injecting water between the dogs hide and body causing hydration, which allowed the caulking to pass through the dog.

I didn’t know this was even possible. Not a laughing matter. I’ll keep my comments to myself on this one.

From Tony Petrello: My dog once ate a whole stick of butter that he got off a table at a barbecue. Not the oddest thing ever, but can you imagine ever doing that?

Depends. Did he find any lobster to gobble afterward? That might make sense.

From Jana Watson: [Dogs have eaten] every sandal in the house, Fitbit, box of Christmas decor, the top off every bottle in the house including vitamins and supplements (fish oil causes smelly dogs), garden gnomes, remotes, DVDs, an entire unattended pizza.

That’s exactly why I don’t use fish oil. Or buy garden gnomes. And I can guarantee that pizza is always attended.

From Kelly Allen: I also had a dog growing up who came home with a whole roast beef in her mouth one day. A perfectly cooked, whole roast beef. We had one neighbor close by so my parents immediately went to her house, and sure enough, the lady had put the roast on her steps to cool off. My dog smelled that roast down the road, got loose and came back with quite a prize.

My kind of dog: A roast beef retriever. Wonder if we can train Teddy to do that?

From Debra Bell: What haven’t our dogs eaten? Our greyhound Laura once at three loaves of rising bread dough straight out of the pan. I caught her before she started on loaf four. Very scary. Our kitchen is always gated now. That snack necessitated a trip to the emergency vet (because these things never happen when the regular vet is open) due to the fact that rising dough produces alcohol and the stomach is also the perfect temp for yeast to reproduce.

Other items of note: birdseed, a pan of brownies, votive candles, bagels, bread, DVD case, and she stole an uncooked rib eye right off the stove at a friend’s home.

It should be noted that we now enroll any dog in our home in pet insurance the moment they arrive with us.

The only thing I can compare with this is the time my old dog, Pudge, gobbled down a bunch of tomatoes and hot peppers that we’d just harvested from the garden. We called it his “make your own salsa” trick.

From BDN colleague Emily Burnham: Not just one roll of toilet paper. An entire family-sized package of toilet paper. Cheerfully sprinkled throughout the house. Also, lip balm, DVDs, a plate of just-cooked breakfast left unattended on the coffee table for 45 seconds, part of a TV remote, a phone charger, and FIVE PAIRS OF SHOES, including the soles out of $150 boots from Valentine Footwear. Shoes are now put away on shelves or behind closed doors.

Emily, you’ve been holding out on us. All this time, you’ve been telling your office mates that your dog is a perfect little gentleman. Thanks for sharing … finally.

From former BDN outdoor reporter Misty Edgecomb: Half a chocolate birthday cake (with no ill effects), a Christmas pastry from a neighbor (including the paper plate and plastic wrap) and a copy of “The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew.”

Misty, see also: My comment on making your own salsa.

From BDN colleague Chris Cousins: When I was a kid my mom made a 2-pound meatloaf and left it in the oven with the door open a crack to cool while she went to pick up a gallon of milk. We came back and the meatloaf was gone. Muttley didn’t move for like two days.

The things you learn. Chris has always seemed pretty cool to me. The fact that he actually had a dog named “Muttley” makes him even cooler in my book.

From Dan Harnum, Detroit, Mich. (and Sitka, Alaska): Our mastiff, Loki (should’ve known by the name we gave him), liked to magically enter the girls playroom and eat Barbie dolls and assorted Barbie paraphernalia. Our back yard was littered with dog poop adorned with heads, shoes, clothing. Rather eerie to notice a dog turd staring at you.

Leader in the clubhouse: Dan Harnum. Thanks for playing.

And again, from Jana Watson, the final words on the matter: There should be a support group.


John Holyoke can be reached at or 990-8214. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnHolyoke


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.