Mike’s Take: Never to be heard from again

Mike Causey, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – In the 1920s, a German archeological expedition to the Middle East found a clay tablet with cunieform writing, which — roughly translated — said, “the dog ate my homework.” Even in Babylonian times, those pesky house pooches were devouring little Urd’s civics or science project.

There is really nothing new under the sun.

Most of us have heard, and many have used, “the dog ate my homework” line with varying degrees of success. However, it actually did happen to me:

When I was about 11 years old, my first dog ate my homework. It was a model of a dinosaur. A T-Rex, I think. It was perfect, except I had to use a tennis ball for its head, which somewhat reduced the fear factor. Still, it was pretty good — and had things gone correctly — it might have led to a career in science, and maybe to one of those GE scholarships.

Chicken bones are somewhat hard to come by when you live on Thomas Circle in the District, so we went to a fried chicken takeout place (I think it was called ‘Haja’s’), just off 14th Street. After cleaning the bones, I glued them inside a shoebox. It was a minor masterpiece.

At some point during the night, Lizzie, my pound pup, ate the T-Rex and part of the tennis ball.

Next day, my teacher at John Quincy Adams Elementary School in Adams Morgan refused to buy my story. But I digress…

Point is, it does happen.

And the other point is, dogs will eat just about anything. As in, anything.

How about a hearing aide? It happened to my neighbor, let’s call her ‘Lois.’

She’s got these two dogs: One old, one young. To protect the innocent, we will call them Cody and Zippy.

She told me the hearing aide cost $2,000. I guess the only good thing is that she wasn’t wearing it at the time. She said she put it in a drawer for safe-keeping. Ha!

Cody and Zippy were watching. And like most dogs, they were curious and on the lookout for something to eat. Preferably, something new.

She left. One of them didn’t. When she was out of sight, Cody or Zippy stood up, rummaged around the drawer (she figured this out later) and stopped when they spotted her hearing aide. Since they had never eaten one before, it was natural they wanted to try it. One of them did.

Nearly $2K down the drain, as it were.

Apparently she came back into the room just as one of them was finishing his expensive snack. She was surprised, to say the least. So was the dog.

A million questions come to mind: Did enough of it survive to pick up sound? And if so, what was it? What form, if any, did the amplification take? If there is a hearing aide in the stomach and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound???

I was anxious for details, but didn’t ask because of the delicate nature of the situation. There was no mention of surgery, so I assume the hearing aide worked its way out.

I do know it was not recycled.

The only question left is which pooch did the deed? Who scarfed the Beltone? Who nibbled the Nexear?

When the dogs drove past me the other day, one of them took a more than natural interest in a tiny digital camera I was carrying. It’s red and about the size of a deck of cards. It makes almost no sound, and yet, one seemed to hear its tiny click and turn toward me.

Although I have no proof, my money is on Zippy.


Mike has spent the majority of his life inside the Beltway and has an interesting and humorous perspective that he will share every Wednesday. Mike has spent his career covering the federal government for the Washington Post and now for Federal News Radio.

Mike also writes a daily column for Federal News Radio.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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