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Some Dogs Are Just Nuts

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June 22, 2009

Some Dogs Are Just Nuts

By David DiBenedetto

As I start the long journey forward with Pritch I often find myself thinking about dogs past. There was Flapper, a mutt that truly defined the term "mash-up," but it was Salty Dog, a yellow Labrador with middling retriever skills, that provided the bulk of the memories—some of which are now legend in my family.

When I was 14 and Salty was just over a year old, he developed a bad habit. He would often bolt from the yard in the middle of a training session and not return until the following day. They were anxious times, and no matter how hard I tried to control him I couldn’t. Our vet suggested that neutering Salty would curb the problem. Since we had no intention of breeding him we figured it was best for all involved. But a few weeks after the big snip, I was working with Salty in the front yard when he took off for the hinterlands. I went running after him, but my teenage legs were no match. As usual, my mom and I piled in the car and went looking for Salty. And as usual, we had no luck. Back at home, there was a message from the vet on the answering machine. (This was long before cell phones.) Turns out Salty had shown up outside his office door—a 2-mile trip that involved traversing a busy road—slobbering on the glass until they invited him in.

We picked Salty up and returned home. But a few days later he hightailed it yet again…and about an hour later the vet called. Salty was sitting in the waiting room. The next week, same scenario. This time my dad drove me to the vet’s office. On the way home, I asked my dad why the dog would be so intent on running to the vet’s office when most dog’s hated going. With a bit of hesitation, my old man answered, “Maybe he’s looking for his nuts.”

Maybe he was, because until we installed an electric fence Salty would often take a jog to the vet’s office. And every time I went to retrieve him I thought, who can blame him?

I can’t imagine youth or adulthood without a dog, if not only for the companionship but for the adventures and stories that come with it. I’m sure you all have some canine tales. Feel free to share.

Comments (17)

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from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

That really made me laugh. I wonder if the vet got a guilt complex.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

thanks for the much-needed monday laugh. that one's hard to top...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmiles wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Me and salty would have felt the same way about ours. The vet would have gotten bitten if I was Salty!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

my dog named coco would often head to the hills also like this and some of the most daring escapes were running through the screen in our patio, jumping out of a second story window through the screen and running into me numerous times. She also had a way of teaching the neighbor dog it's ok to run off. One of the most unusual run offs we had was when she made a dash and was off for the day, the next day we went for a ride looking for deer and we pulled up to a field and thought we saw a small deer in the field little did we know that the brown deer out there was our dog eating soybeans. So we pulled up called her and she came charging into the car and spent two days straight sleeping.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Dave,

I don't know about Salty Dog, but it sounds like your dad was fun to be around.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

jcarlin,

Salty and my old man made for a pretty entertaining youth...and I'm lucky dad is still around to keep things interesting. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Salty Dog sounds like the 'Marley' from the movie.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Our dog Mojo would run off about every other week as well. No particular place really, and after a year of it we quit looking for him since he always returned a day or three later.

He'd be skinnier and always stunk like manure, skunks, the river, dead animals and anything else he found to roll in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter Savage wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

i had a small female beagle named Susie, that could scale the 6 foot chain link fence to the kennel better than a squirrel . i ended up having to board the top so it had a lip she could not get over on the in side of the the kennel. the first two times it happened i thought the gate was broke. till i saw her making her escape .

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

What a great story, not only do dogs provide as best friends but they provide a lifetime of memories and some great stories.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I've had several dogs that have given me such great memories. I remember one of our beagles that was as much my pet as my hunting dog that jumpped out of the second story sliding glass window when my parent's were building the house they live in now. She just walked over to the opening, looked down, then back at me then jumpped. Scared me to deat but she was just fine. I had a mutt that was addicted to both cars and pain. That one broke my 10 year old heart. We had a Saint Bernard that was very protective and chomped down more than once on our neighbor's rear end when he came knocking on the back door. Once we heard the knock the him yelling. When we opened the door he was being drug across the back yard by the seat of his pants. Then there was my black lab, Ellie. I got her when I was a sophmore in High School and she lived for 13 years. We had so much fun together. She was my retriever, fishing buddy, camping buddy, therapist and pillow for a long time. That one broke my 29 year old heart....bad. Now I have a black cocker spaniel(8) that is dumb as a box of hammers but I love her. My wife's chihuahua (5) is mean as a snake and I barely tolerate him. The mountain lion story in California didn't do anything to help me in getting rid of that one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 175rltw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My old dog Hobo was locally known as either The Senator or John Wayne depending who you spoke to, as he had a real swagger, and was definalty in charge of the area. My parents neighbor would fix him eggs whenever he wanted, so he'd always swing by there for breakfast. Now in the south, you know it seems like folks always have that sortof museum/ living room (that no living gets done in) and my folks are no exception. Hobo was certainly not allowed in there. He was also not allowed to take food out of the pantry, but he would do it, so where better to eat it than on the couch in there? For a couple years he'd haul ass out of there when he'd hear us get home, but by the time he was 4 or so he wouldn't even get off the couch, he'd just stare at you, like what?- turn the freaking lights off will ya!! Anyway my favorite time like this was when we came home and he was on the couch with a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter- who knew dogs like peanut buttter sandwiches, or how to make them for that matter. He wouldn't hunt alick, but he'd do everything else, he was a good un.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I just remembered a dog that I had,actually it was my neighbors dog, and we kind of adopted each other.

A yellow lab that I named Pooch.
Never heard him bark,never heard him growl, except for one time.

We lived one block down from the Southern Railroad,where we would go and see what the next train brought in.

Back in those days, hobo's would jump off of the train during the warm season, and get a drink of water at an underground spring.They would go down to the local hardware store and buy a lubricant called SILOX.

The hobo's mixed it with the spring water and got their drifters buzz on with the concoction.One 'ol fellow in particular, would get staggering drunk.He was a WWII Vet and we would over look his intoxicating demeanor and appearance.

He proceeded to tell 'ol Pooch and me, that he got half of his "butt cheek" blown off in the war.The right hand side of his pants did appear a little light to me. The hobo would sit with his one butt cheek almost touching the ground,as he sipped his lubricating cocktail.

I'll never forget,he would hold the can up in the air and say,"this is the solution!" As he took his last drink,he became agitated and tossed the empty can onto the railroad tracks.

Out of no where Pooch I became alarmed and surprised at the same time. The hobo was angry that Pooch disapproved of his ways and asked in a gruff voice,"What ta hell is that dogs name?"

I was shakin', but managed to reply in a confident voice,"Killer!" As soon as I said that, Pooch charged the half-ass hobo with a bark and a growl,unheard of in these parts.

With my new found courage,and Pooch finding his voice, I continued to shout at the hobo not to come back or "Killer" would take care of him.

The hobo ambled off out of rock throwing distance, as I let a couple of them sail to let him know that Pooch and me meant business.

Pooch never barked or growled again,didn't have to ...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Hey dave, just wanted to let you know I took my puppy today while we were in my grandpa's pool and brought her in there and held onto her until she started paddling then with a little encouragement and guidance she was finally swimming around on her own so thanks for the video and good luck with pritch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

muskiemaster- Nice work with the pup. Congrats. And have fun...you have a swimmer on your hands.

2Poppa- It's amazing how sometimes dogs just know. -D

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dlbbarrel wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

We always had at least a brace of beagles on the farm for running rabbits. One named Jack would howl his butt off everytime we would tie him up or try to kennel him. It drove us crazy as well as the chicken farmer across the road. However it upset John the chicken farmer even more when he would see Jack run loose and he would constantly ask us to tie him up. That was until one night when John heard some noise outside in his yard. He looked out and there was a stranger trying to steal his 1956 Ford Country Squire wagon. While John was getting his shotgun he heard the guy start to yell, when he looked out Jack had the stranger by the butt and he was flapping in the wind as the car thief ran out across his chicken range. John came over in the morning and told us the story and asked us to never tie that dog up again!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big C wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Your story almost sounds like a good joke!! The fact that it is true even makes it better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

my dog named coco would often head to the hills also like this and some of the most daring escapes were running through the screen in our patio, jumping out of a second story window through the screen and running into me numerous times. She also had a way of teaching the neighbor dog it's ok to run off. One of the most unusual run offs we had was when she made a dash and was off for the day, the next day we went for a ride looking for deer and we pulled up to a field and thought we saw a small deer in the field little did we know that the brown deer out there was our dog eating soybeans. So we pulled up called her and she came charging into the car and spent two days straight sleeping.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

That really made me laugh. I wonder if the vet got a guilt complex.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmiles wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Me and salty would have felt the same way about ours. The vet would have gotten bitten if I was Salty!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

muskiemaster- Nice work with the pup. Congrats. And have fun...you have a swimmer on your hands.

2Poppa- It's amazing how sometimes dogs just know. -D

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dlbbarrel wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

We always had at least a brace of beagles on the farm for running rabbits. One named Jack would howl his butt off everytime we would tie him up or try to kennel him. It drove us crazy as well as the chicken farmer across the road. However it upset John the chicken farmer even more when he would see Jack run loose and he would constantly ask us to tie him up. That was until one night when John heard some noise outside in his yard. He looked out and there was a stranger trying to steal his 1956 Ford Country Squire wagon. While John was getting his shotgun he heard the guy start to yell, when he looked out Jack had the stranger by the butt and he was flapping in the wind as the car thief ran out across his chicken range. John came over in the morning and told us the story and asked us to never tie that dog up again!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

thanks for the much-needed monday laugh. that one's hard to top...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Dave,

I don't know about Salty Dog, but it sounds like your dad was fun to be around.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

jcarlin,

Salty and my old man made for a pretty entertaining youth...and I'm lucky dad is still around to keep things interesting. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Salty Dog sounds like the 'Marley' from the movie.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Our dog Mojo would run off about every other week as well. No particular place really, and after a year of it we quit looking for him since he always returned a day or three later.

He'd be skinnier and always stunk like manure, skunks, the river, dead animals and anything else he found to roll in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter Savage wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

i had a small female beagle named Susie, that could scale the 6 foot chain link fence to the kennel better than a squirrel . i ended up having to board the top so it had a lip she could not get over on the in side of the the kennel. the first two times it happened i thought the gate was broke. till i saw her making her escape .

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

What a great story, not only do dogs provide as best friends but they provide a lifetime of memories and some great stories.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I've had several dogs that have given me such great memories. I remember one of our beagles that was as much my pet as my hunting dog that jumpped out of the second story sliding glass window when my parent's were building the house they live in now. She just walked over to the opening, looked down, then back at me then jumpped. Scared me to deat but she was just fine. I had a mutt that was addicted to both cars and pain. That one broke my 10 year old heart. We had a Saint Bernard that was very protective and chomped down more than once on our neighbor's rear end when he came knocking on the back door. Once we heard the knock the him yelling. When we opened the door he was being drug across the back yard by the seat of his pants. Then there was my black lab, Ellie. I got her when I was a sophmore in High School and she lived for 13 years. We had so much fun together. She was my retriever, fishing buddy, camping buddy, therapist and pillow for a long time. That one broke my 29 year old heart....bad. Now I have a black cocker spaniel(8) that is dumb as a box of hammers but I love her. My wife's chihuahua (5) is mean as a snake and I barely tolerate him. The mountain lion story in California didn't do anything to help me in getting rid of that one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 175rltw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My old dog Hobo was locally known as either The Senator or John Wayne depending who you spoke to, as he had a real swagger, and was definalty in charge of the area. My parents neighbor would fix him eggs whenever he wanted, so he'd always swing by there for breakfast. Now in the south, you know it seems like folks always have that sortof museum/ living room (that no living gets done in) and my folks are no exception. Hobo was certainly not allowed in there. He was also not allowed to take food out of the pantry, but he would do it, so where better to eat it than on the couch in there? For a couple years he'd haul ass out of there when he'd hear us get home, but by the time he was 4 or so he wouldn't even get off the couch, he'd just stare at you, like what?- turn the freaking lights off will ya!! Anyway my favorite time like this was when we came home and he was on the couch with a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter- who knew dogs like peanut buttter sandwiches, or how to make them for that matter. He wouldn't hunt alick, but he'd do everything else, he was a good un.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I just remembered a dog that I had,actually it was my neighbors dog, and we kind of adopted each other.

A yellow lab that I named Pooch.
Never heard him bark,never heard him growl, except for one time.

We lived one block down from the Southern Railroad,where we would go and see what the next train brought in.

Back in those days, hobo's would jump off of the train during the warm season, and get a drink of water at an underground spring.They would go down to the local hardware store and buy a lubricant called SILOX.

The hobo's mixed it with the spring water and got their drifters buzz on with the concoction.One 'ol fellow in particular, would get staggering drunk.He was a WWII Vet and we would over look his intoxicating demeanor and appearance.

He proceeded to tell 'ol Pooch and me, that he got half of his "butt cheek" blown off in the war.The right hand side of his pants did appear a little light to me. The hobo would sit with his one butt cheek almost touching the ground,as he sipped his lubricating cocktail.

I'll never forget,he would hold the can up in the air and say,"this is the solution!" As he took his last drink,he became agitated and tossed the empty can onto the railroad tracks.

Out of no where Pooch I became alarmed and surprised at the same time. The hobo was angry that Pooch disapproved of his ways and asked in a gruff voice,"What ta hell is that dogs name?"

I was shakin', but managed to reply in a confident voice,"Killer!" As soon as I said that, Pooch charged the half-ass hobo with a bark and a growl,unheard of in these parts.

With my new found courage,and Pooch finding his voice, I continued to shout at the hobo not to come back or "Killer" would take care of him.

The hobo ambled off out of rock throwing distance, as I let a couple of them sail to let him know that Pooch and me meant business.

Pooch never barked or growled again,didn't have to ...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Hey dave, just wanted to let you know I took my puppy today while we were in my grandpa's pool and brought her in there and held onto her until she started paddling then with a little encouragement and guidance she was finally swimming around on her own so thanks for the video and good luck with pritch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big C wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Your story almost sounds like a good joke!! The fact that it is true even makes it better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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