June 20, 2013
Written by Joe Pisani
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 10:45
During my checkered career as a teacher, not to mention my even more checkered career as a student, I heard tales about dogs that ate homework, but never witnessed this phenomenon firsthand.
The excuse was a popular one when I taught English grammar and composition to eighth-graders.
"Cathy, that's the second assignment you didn't hand in. What the heck is wrong?"
"I did it!!!!! But my Chihuahua Roxy was sniffing through my notebook and ate it!!!!" (Eighth-grade girls love exclamation points.)
After hearing this excuse, I'd roll my eyes as if she told me Roxy was abducted by aliens and taken to a dog pound in the Andromeda Galaxy, along with Cathy's homework, which was being analyzed by alien anthropologists to determine what makes teenage girls tick.
"Heather, what about you?"
"Ahhh, my sister's dog crept into the bedroom while I was sleeping and took it off my desk, and my mother is taking him to the vet to see if we can get it back because that essay was one of my BEST, and I'm so MAD at that DOG!!!!!!"
A teacher's life is full of excitement.
I only used that excuse once in my life in third grade when I lost a spelling assignment. Back before the invention of spell-check, you learned to spell the hard way. Now, we push a computer button to guarantee correct spelling and it produces sentences like "I visited my parents' louse last geek."
I told my teacher the homework was in my book when I left for the bus-stop but it got lost, which was the truth. I also told her I suspected it was taken by a chocolate lab that was sniffing around my lunch box, and since he couldn't get my pepperoni sandwich, he settled for my spelling assignment. That theory seemed perfectly logical to a third-grader but not to Miss Tortora.
I stayed in for recess to make up the work, and the next day I took it out on that chocolate lab by giving him my pepperoni sandwich.
Recently I came upon a story about a dog that ate a Seattle man's tickets to the Masters. The fellow had only a little time before he was due to board the plane to Augusta to meet his friends, so he got his girlfriend to concoct a formula with hydrogen peroxide that made the dog vomit Then, they pieced together the scraps, and it was business as usual, well almost.
I've experienced the same thing with my own dog, who has an obsessive love of paper. She'll jump on the chair, pull napkins off the table and run behind the couch to eat them.
I'm ashamed to admit she also eats toilet paper that she pulls off the roll, so we keep the bathroom door shut. She even ran off with my commuter pass. Fortunately, I was able to pry it from her teeth. However, in the entrepreneurial spirit that made America great and greedy, I plan to train her to go into purses and extract $50 bills to help my retirement fund. I'll even give her a piece of the action and buy her some copy paper to nibble on.
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