Dear Teacher, My Dog Ate My Homework

Picture of a boy and a bulldog

Kids and homework…they don’t always go together smoothly. If your kid is like most, he’ll do anything to get out of doing any type of work after the school day is done. But come 9 am, your child’s teacher will be waiting at her desk, hand held out expectantly in anticipation of last night’s properly completed homework assignment. Meanwhile, Little Johnny is frantically wracking his brain to come up with a viable excuse his teacher will buy as to why said homework is not going to be delivered as promised. More than once, a homework delinquent child has uttered a whopper or two in an attempt to keep themselves out of hot water, but “My dog ate my homework” likely tops the list of most repeated excuses teachers hear. Yet sometimes, it’s not an excuse. If you are the proud owner of a pooch, you know they get up to plenty of mischief including the occasional bout of homework munching.

Should Teachers Believe the Explanation that the Homework Was Eaten?
The simple truth is dogs are mischievous, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Fido did decide to help himself to a little arithmetic snack the night before the assignment was due. Whether or not your dog took it upon himself to leave his personal mark upon your child’s homework, it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to create such an intricate tale for the benefit of a teacher. But should a teacher “buy” the “dog ate my homework” story of woe? While many teachers would dismiss it out of hand as the oldest “trick” in the book, still others are willing to accept this explanation at least once in a child’s academic career whether they believe the truth of it or not. After all, it takes courage to relate such a fantastical tale to an adult, and even a little sales savvy to market it as believable. Perhaps the greater lesson to be learned is the ability to use creative means to accomplish a goal is equally as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Learning the ropes of “sales” is an important skill, and rewarding a child for the ingenuity and intestinal fortitude to stand their ground when sharing a truth, whether believed by adults or peers or not, is an incredibly valuable lesson.

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Yes, dogs get up to some interesting things, and snacking on your daughter’s homework is but one of them. While some of them are enough to make your blood boil…such as putting air conditioning holes in your brand new dress shoes; others are quite comical, and you have to stifle a giggle so as not encourage further behavior along that vein.

Here is a list of the top ten mischievous things dogs have been known to get up to:

Rearranging your underwear drawer
Most dogs love their owners’ clothing. It smells like you, and thus, having a piece of your clothing nearby is as comforting as sunshine on a spring day. But some dogs don’t stop there. Dogs have been known to wait with the stealth of a cat burglar for their opportunity to steal a discarded pair of dirty underwear. Armed with their “treasure,” they race off to enjoy it on their favorite dog bed. After all, what could be better than something that smells stinky and a soft place to lick it on?

But it’s not just stinky clothing that dogs tend to like. Some dogs have a real fascination with various articles of clothes. Many dogs enjoy stealing their owners’ socks, and others still like to snatch their underwear. But the strangest thing to behold is a dog who likes to snag their owner’s bras and redistribute them throughout the house…or worse…the yard. If your dog engages in this mischievous activity, you might want to consider an eight foot privacy fence…or possibly start selling tickets for admission into your backyard bra museum.

Riding around on the Roomba
Incomprehensible to most owners; particularly if they own a larger breed dog, is the appeal of the Roomba. Many pooches love to chase it, ensnare it, lay traps for it, and some do like to take it out for a spin by perching themselves directly in the center of it and tagging along for the ride.

Though riding on the Roomba is a favorite pastime of some pups, others prefer to lay their “scentwork” course by pooping directly in the line of fire of the Roomba and allowing the little robotic vacuum to lay some extra special “scent tracks” all throughout the floor. As frustrating as cleaning smears of feces from flooring can be, it is nothing compared to the task of attempting to remove caked on poop from the wheels and underbelly of a Roomba; all while your best canine pal looks on with a rather smug expression on his face.

Eating poop
Not all dogs eat poop, but the ones who do seem to relish it. A particularly off-putting habit to owners, dogs who eat poop become masters at learning to snag it before their feces-hunting owners have the opportunity to remove it from the yard.

Not only is eating poop a gross habit, it also leads to stinky breath, making canine kisses a little less desirable.

Peeing in the heater vent
Dogs spend a lot of time picking the perfect spot for a pee and a poop. Unfortunately, if your heating vent is the lucky recipient of your dog’s
“peemail,” you’ll be cleaning for weeks as the odor is difficult to remove and permeates the entire house. Intact male dogs are typically the culprits when X marks the spot of the heating vent.

Decapitating toys
A quick survey around most homes reveals a toy box filled to overflowing with toys that are missing limbs. From heads long since torn off and discarded to toys with the stuffing hollowed out and more, to the non-dog-owning public, it would definitely appear that your dogs’ toys need replenishing. Though there are few things as satisfying as giving your dog a new treat to enjoy, the feeling disappears quickly as you watch it dismantled in only a few minutes. It does make you wonder if you should just give your dog a five dollar bill to destroy and save yourself the trip to the store.

Drinking from the toilet
Not all dogs drink from the toilet, but the ones who do; love it and will go to great lengths to avoid drinking from a regular dog bowl. But not only is drinking toilet water far less than savoury, it’s also messy; particularly if your dog is of the sort that has a beard. Fido may zone in to quench his thirst and leave a trail of toilet water on the toilet seat and all over the floor; all for your later enjoyment.

Opening Christmas presents
Many families train their dogs to be trustworthy when they are not at home. Yet even the most solid of dogs can find it hard to resist the allure of bright, shiny presents lined up underneath a Christmas tree. So, while Fido is under there giving the tree a good “watering,” he might as well put his teeth and paws to good use to find out what’s inside those big square things that look and smell so good! If you’re lucky, your pooch will unwrap the gifts and stop there, but some families have come home to discover brand new clothing with carefully arranged air conditioning holes, and Christmas edibles entirely consumed!

Mischievous canines will stop at nothing to get to the object of their affection. Even the least limber of pets can and will find a way onto your counter if the reward is good enough. Hence, many an owner has come home to find a beloved dog standing in the middle of the countertop with the remains of that night’s supper in his beard.

Consuming unusual things
What might seem unusual to you is often perfectly normal, and even desirable, to your dog. So while you definitely would not want to take a bite out of your wife’s pantyhose or a moldy tart, Fido thinks both just might be a culinary delight! But many dogs don’t stop there. If it will fit in their mouths, many will give the object a fair opportunity regardless of what it might be.

Checking out your visitors’ groins
Every pet owner is familiar with the embarrassment of a dog that goes straight to the groin. Your guest is mortified and squirming to get away, but Fido is going in for the “kill.” Yes, dogs are fascinated with the groins of guests and try as you might to train better behavior, it seems this mischievous quirk is here to stay.

Has your dog ever eaten your child’s homework? If so, take comfort in the fact that you are not the only family to have experienced the mischievous side of a dog. Thankfully, their silly antics make us laugh. But to ensure your son or daughter graduates from school, Fido and your child’s homework might need to start living separate lives!


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