The Byford Files

When Our Dogs Learn How to ___________, We’re Leaving Them On a Dirt Road North of Town

Such was the question I asked my lovely wife on Wednesday when I arrived home for a quick lunch break. There was a pause on the other end of the line.

“Uh, escape?”

No, not escape.

“Hmm. Open the refrigerator door?”


Our dogs…okay, wait a sec…Jackson opened the refrigerator door sometime during the course of the morning and emptied 80% of the contents out onto the kitchen floor, the sunroom and into the backyard. Tucker is not smart enough to execute such a feat. Without any question it was Jackson. The dog that used to eat from trashcans and dumpsters to stay alive. That stalks you until you feed him. That holds grudges. That understands clearly the concept of “revenge.” No doubt in my mind it was Jackson.

Now, Jackson is the facilitator, but Tucker is the disposer. Tucker can make any food item disappear in mere seconds. It’s a two-man job and the executed to a tee.

When I walked into the kitchen, the fridge door was wide open and the light was on…illuminating that the inside of the fridge was absolutely empty. Except for the contents in the door, everything else was arranged in this weird tail-like pattern from the fridge door through the sun room and out the doggie door and into the backyard where I would all $150 of our last shopping trip in small, pasty-colored piles of vomit and stomach bile in the backyard. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were eating. It was a sight to behold. I was actually naming the contents of the piles as I walked through the yard. That’d be a great game show: Name What’s in the Dog Vomit!

I scan the yard for the beagles and I see Tucker hanging out underneath the table on the patio. Remorseful, visibly. But it was Jackson I wanted. I look again and in the furthest corner of the backyard, hunched over with this tail between his legs and mid-upchucking. I found my culprit. I ran to him, spanked him so hard it made my hand hurt. I spanked him exactly three times. Go ahead and tell ASPCA and PETA. Yeah, I whooped him three times and made him whimper. And then he puked some more.

Grabbed Tucker (which was like catching a two-legged turtle) and spanked him a couple of times too. He whimpered. I think, then, I screamed like Cookie Monster. It was a low, devilish roar. It had to be really loud. I’m not even sure what I screamed, but I’m sure it probably included some words you shouldn’t hear at the playground and then the names of our two dogs.

I went inside back into the kitchen and kicked the door like a five-year old. Something I never do. I’m absolutely losing my cool at this point. Once inside, I went on some furious monologue about how I hate my dogs and wish they would die and how they deserve to be sick and how I resent the day we brought Jackson home and Tucker too…all of which is completely untrue. Don’t worry, they didn’t hear any of it. They were outside puking. I look outside to verify this. Jackson’s sitting in the middle of the yard panting and licking his lips. He looked terrible. Bloated. Miserable. Looked like he was carrying a basketball in there. Tucker wears it a little better because he’s built like a rhino. Ten pounds of fridge food hides a lot easier in his belly.

I assess the damage in the kitchen. First thing that catches my eye is the fifteen or eighteen eggs that are now cracked and smashed all over the floor in front of (and under) the fridge. Bags of cheese ripped apart and now empty. Bags of sandwich meat ripped apart and now empty. String cheese scattered throughout. An empty crock pot which once contained the lasagna that my lovely wife and I were to enjoy that night. Apple juice bottle.Bags of lettuce. Half-eaten fresh fruit. Some unscathed but covered now in egg yolk. Tucker took a box of Bisquick over to his bed and ripped it open and tried to eat the powder. I knew it was him because that’s a total moron thing to do. Did he think it was like Lik-a-Maid where if you mix it with saliva it turns into a pancake? Stupid dog. Butter wrappers. Empty tubs that once contained cream cheese, apple butter. A pita bread package. Everything that wasn’t on the top shelf was gone. And it probably wasn’t long before they got to that as they had already managed to knock the sandwich meat/cheese drawer loose and empty it onto the floor.

There is no damage like the one that two beagles can inflict on a fridge, trash can, picnic basket or pantry. They can absolutely detonate it.

$150+ down the drain. And that’s like we have that kinda coin to spend on such stupidity. Our stupid beagles. Stealing from the mouth of their hungry sister Ellison. In the aftermath, I went through the painful process of cleaning up the kitchen and then spending the remainder of my lunch break in the backyard shoveling up the piles of vomit that littered the yard. What are my dogs trying to tell me? Was this their Tahrir Square protest trying to overcome with force the current regime? Do I make more of this? Could it had been that the door was slightly cracked or not-exactly closed and secure and they were only taking advantage of human oversight? I’m not sure. But they got theirs.

And I didn’t feed them for precisely 30 hours afterwards. If I didn’t feed for the time it would’ve taken to pay back $150 in dog food, I wouldn’t had fed them for close to two months so their lucky I have such a big heart.

Once again, I open up the market for bids on two beagles. Package deal. I’ll cut you a discount if you’ll take both.


5 thoughts on “When Our Dogs Learn How to ___________, We’re Leaving Them On a Dirt Road North of Town

  1. Adrianne says:

    THANK YOU for making me lmao while I was trying to quiet by 10-week-old’s colicky crying. My convulsions put him to sleep…briefly.

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