anne_mikolay_120Imagine my surprise when I discovered Animal Planet’s program, “Bad Dogs.” There’s actually a program dedicated to dogs like mine!

At ten months old and still growing, Teddy, my chihuahua, exceeds the standard weight for his breed. Must be his diet! Not the healthy diet I offer him; the diet he designs for himself….the many,many items Teddy freely chews and ingests. Teddy has developed a taste for leather and thoroughly devoured my leather sandals and my husband’s leather shoes and belt. Teddy regards any shoe randomly placed in the house as fair game. My jogging shoes and my sons’ sneakers bear Teddy’s signature teeth marks. I can’t wear slippers anymore because Teddy tries to chew them right off my feet!

Teddy enjoys a good roll of paper towels and is not at all particular about the newspaper he “reads.” he shreds any and all printed material, but prefers fabric. He has chewed holes in blankets, comforters, throw pillows, and his own harness. Thanks to Teddy, I have a pile of pillows to sew if I ever find the time.

Nothing is safe with Teddy around. One evening, in the blink of an eye, Teddy jumped onto the end table, grabbed my son’s wallet, pulled out a ten dollar bill, and ran away with it. Naturally, I gave chase. “Drop it,” the magic phrase I learned in puppy obedience school, was ineffective. Finally, I caught him, pried his jaws open, and removed the currency.

Dog toys don’t last more than ten minutes with Teddy, who gleefully dissects each and every one. He shreds or chews his toys, pulls out the stuffing, and removes the squeaker (yet another item I have had to pull out of his mouth). During his daily romp in the yard, Teddy’s “deposits” are replete with colorful strands of material. One morning, he totally baffled me by making an orange, striped “deposit.” It wasn’t until much later in the day, when I found his stuffed duck minus its orange beak, that I understood.

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

Teddy – A good bad dog.

Teddy is that rare dog that refuses to walk on a leash. He happily prances about on any grassy surface, but freezes in his tracks when his little paws touch pavement. Therefore (and because he barks loudly at anything that moves), taking a walk with him is next to impossible.

Teddy has his fine points, however. He is so accustomed to my fingers in his mouth that brushing his teeth is a breeze. He is so active and intelligent that teaching him to fetch was simple. He is so affectionate that when I pick him up he “hugs” me by putting his paws around my neck. Despite his comparatively small size, Teddy is an excellent watch dog. He loves healthy dog treats, like apples and bits of banana. His zest for life is apparent (he loves a tour around the backyard in my husband’s wheel-barrow). He welcomes a bath (drinks the bath water, but that’s another Teddy tale). his clownish antics are uplifting and make us laugh. Teddy is all chihuahua!

We can’t imagine life without Teddy. Though he has a lot of growing up to do, the bond between Teddy and my family grows daily. It’s that indescribable bond that makes all well loved “Bad Dogs,” like Teddy, good dogs at heart.

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Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...