To call my pup Cedar a hellion on four paws would be the understatement of the century.
In her first year on this planet, she's managed to chew her way through every part of my wardrobe, including no less than 20 pairs of sneakers, boots, sandals and slippers as well as dozens of electrical cords.
No molding or piece of furniture in the house is sacred and she's had an emergency operation to have only lord-knows-what removed from blocking her intestine.
She ate my Oakley sunglasses. Destroyed an iPod, a Nintendo DS, two cell phones, every X-Box controller in the place and 10 remote controls.
She's eaten the antennas off both cordless phones and has reduced a rather large collection of CDs and DVDs to useless orbs covered in tiny tooth marks.
Most recently, she chewed her way into my ice fishing pack apparently because I'd left a miniscule piece of jerky buried in a Zip-Lock deep in the pack's underbelly.
On her way in, she managed to ingest a plastic cup containing a dozen or so flies complete with number six hooks.
I wasn't all that worried, though, because she washed them down with five dozen Christmas cookies we received last week during a festive office cookie swap.
I am not exaggerating - the dog ate 60 cookies. And, she weighs only 24 pounds.
At least she used to weigh 24 pounds.
I found her sprawled out afterward on the downstairs futon like an otter that had just ingested a pint-sized sumo wrestler.
She looked at me drunkenly with one paw on her protruding belly and the other across her furry forehead as if to say, "Stupid, stupid, stupid."
The dog, however, is far from stupid.
Take, for example, her uncanny knack for opening the bifold doors behind which my kitchen garbage can sets.
For the purpose of a mental picture, it goes down something like this:
1) Lower the head;
2) Charge the center of the door;
3) Hurtle your tiny muscle-bound body into said door;
4) Repeat until said door opens far enough to get said muzzle wedged between said door and said door casing, and ...
5) Gorge on chicken bones, fish heads, peach pits, popsicle sticks, can tops and other life-threatening scraps until the futon calls.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. His column appears regularly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.