“Is this food? I’ll check." That's how dogs think – I'm convinced of it. Oh yes, our pet dogs may be cute and furry, they may have impeccable manners and sweet dispositions, but make no mistake, beneath the well-coiffed exterior of even the most innocuous-looking teacup poodle lurks an unstoppable eating machine. Socks, furniture, TV remotes, door-to-door salesmen – it's all on the menu for our canine companions, who live in a constant and barely restrained state of temptation to taste everything. Take Sophie, a basset hound in Colorado Springs, Colo. Apparently Sophie devoured no less than 31 nails, her own rabies tag and a chunk of siding – all in one sitting. That's just amazing. There's a certain kind of steady dedication in that that I can't help but admire a little bit. Granted, its a dedication to doing something monumentally stupid, but bassets aren't known for their keen intelligence. Sophie's fine now, thankfully, with the help of a vet who was probably a bit shocked when he/she expected to look at X-ray and saw a photograph of hardware store. None of my dogs have ever been so ambitions, but I’ve seen a few interesting things disappear down the doggie gullet. Rocky, a collie/mutt my parents got just before I was born, showed a keen canine sense of irony by gobbling up – and getting very sick over – a plastic hospital bracelet she rummaged out of the trash. [caption id="attachment_2091" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo: TheGiantVermin "] [/caption] When, Toby, another of my family’s sadly departed pooches, went through a period of devouring whole bushes, some neighbours suggested we lace the soil with Tabasco sauce. In theory it would sting Toby out of her digging. In practice, she ate huge amounts of the spicy dirt – and paid dearly for it when, uhh, things made their way out the other end. Since my girlfriend and I have had Bobo – our inherited Bichon Frise – he’s been pretty lax about munching on things: He’s too small to reach up onto tables, and his little mouth can’t really come to grips with the bigger things he’s probably got an eye on. That said, before he came to live with us it seems one Christmas he devoured a nativity scene, Jesus and all. That’s probably bad karma, but it’s less of a risk than eating one of my girlfriend's shoes, so it’s good he’s ditched the habit. I’d love to hear your I-can-laugh-about-it-now stories of the odd and unlikely things your pups have munched down. But be sure to include the happy ending – no one likes a story where the dog isn’t safe by the end.