Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/12/2011 (1959 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was the kind of tragedy no homeowner wants to deal with at this festive time of year.
My wife and I had just returned home from Christmas shopping and, when we walked in the front door, we were confronted by a horrifying sight.
Our wiener dog, Zoe, had eaten the living room carpet.
I'm not kidding around here. OK, I'm kidding around a tiny bit in the sense that it was not so much a carpet as it was an area rug and the wiener dog had not so much eaten it as shredded it into several million bite-sized pieces, a lot like the shiny tinsel we use to decorate our tree.
I personally thought it was amusing, but my wife didn't see it in the same light because she's always been extremely fond of that particular rug.
I would like to tell you this was an isolated incident, but, sadly, it is just the tip of a gigantic iceberg, which, if you flip it over, will reveal millions of dogs behaving badly. Unfortunately, this is part of what we crusading newspaper columnists refer to as a disturbing social trend.
Here's more proof: Just days after our rug was attacked, in another part of the city, my sister-in-law foolishly put her purse down on the floor of her home. Her six-month-old puppy, Norman, a beagle-basset hound cross with the intelligence of a radish, took this as a signal to empty the purse of its contents and (why not?) gulp down my sister-in-law's MasterCard.
My wife thought this was hilarious -- "Ha ha ha! He ate her MasterCard!" -- whereas I was alarmed until my wife assured me her sister had already purchased my Christmas present.
An even more disturbing report of dogs behaving badly comes from Vancouver, where my sister's new silver-coloured Labrador retriever, Parker, has developed a dangerous habit -- he secretly steals cutlery left lying around (yes, I am talking about knives and forks) and hides it in the middle of my sister's bed.
Unless my sister remembers to check under the covers before going to sleep, she risks becoming impaled on a steak knife.
Say what you will about our pets, they have at least one thing going for them -- they have never shot anyone. Sadly, this is not true of all dogs. I am holding in my hands a terrifying news story concerning a man who was shot in an extremely sensitive area -- I am referring to Utah -- by his yellow Labrador.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a local man and his buddy were hunting ducks from a boat when he climbed out to move some decoys in a shallow marsh, thereby causing his dog (this is just what dogs do) to become overly excited.
Here's a quote from a deputy sheriff: "The guy in the water had put his 12-gauge shotgun across the bow of their boat. The dog got excited, was jumping around inside the boat and then it jumped on the gun. It went off, shooting him in the buttocks."
The duck hunter was fine after having 27 shotgun pellets removed from his posterior region, but that's not the point. The point is, the time has come for our politicians to enact strict laws to keep firearms out of the paws of excitable dogs.
Remember: Guns don't kill people; dogs with guns kill people. That's why, for safety reasons, I'm urging responsible pet owners to lock up their guns AND their credit cards.
And, if you are considering getting a loved one a puppy this Christmas, please remember one thing.
They can be a real pain in the butt.