If You Give a Dog a Bone

by Melanie Hooyenga

The day I brought my dog Owen home from his mother’s side, I made up my mind that he would be well-behaved, lovable, and disciplined. I wouldn’t feed him table scraps, he would come when I called him, and he would never mistake my eyeglasses for his chew toys.

Let’s just say it’s lucky for him the lovable thing stuck.

He’s very smart and eager to please, so it’s easy to overlook any bad habits that I’ve been unable to train out of him—like jumping on people and greeting them with an open mouth. (What? Some people like that.) I never feed him from the table and he never gets processed foods, so when my dad had a leftover pork bone at a family dinner, we decided to reward Owen for all his hard work. (Those birds aren’t going to bark at themselves.)

“Just make sure to take it away from him once he eats the marrow,” my mother warned.


My boyfriend and I bestowed our gift to a wiggly, howling Owen, who promptly darted into the dark backyard to feast on greasy treat. We sipped beers on the deck until we heard the first splinter of bone.

“Good boy Owen. Bring it here,” I called.


I tip-toed through the grass, following the frenzied gnawing, but stopped two feet away when Owen lifted his haunches, his front paw wrapped tightly around the bone. He turned away, then scurried to the other side of the yard.

Cut to five minutes and twenty laps around the yard later with me squatting in the far end of the yard, facing Owen, who had his back to the house, where my BF was perched on the edge of the deck, ready to jump at my command.

Owen released the bone to catch his breath.

“NOW!” I shouted.

My BF leapt from the deck, landing inches from Owen, who shot ten feet away. The BF reached for the bone but Owen snarled and grabbed it first.

Ten minutes later Owen happily chewed the remains of the bone from the comfort of the living room chair. I’d say there’s a lesson to be learned here, but I’ll have to figure that out once I clean the grease stains from the chair.

Melanie Hooyenga is a graphic designer by day, and a newly-addicted Kinect player at night. She recently bought her first home and is chronicling her adventures in first-time home-ownership at Hoosblog. You can also follow her randomness at @melaniehoo, or follow Owen at SuperOwen.


  1. Bwuhahahaha . . . you have no idea how much I needed one of Owen's adventures this morning and that picture . . . swoon . . .

    Seriously, this is hilarious. My dogs as well were going to just be perfect and and adorable and pose in oversized teacups for photos and never, ever be like those "other" dogs. ::sees one of her socks fly by in a trail of black fluff:: Thank goodness for adorable.

  2. If you give a dog a bone...he'll take a yard!
    Seriously...schnauzers are the near perfect dog.

  3. Missy is, for the most part, a well-behaved dog. But if you get anywhere near her food (or, I'm sure, a tasty bone if I ever allowed her to have one), she turns into Cujo. Never bites, but sure sounds like she's gonna.

    She also loves to play keep-away. I feel your pain with the whole chasing-around-the-yard-for-an-hour thing. O.o

  4. Angie, we've talked about the keep-away thing. He's really good about food, mainly because since he was a puppy I would bother him while he was eating so he WOULDN'T get like that, so the bone was surprising!

    Deb, I agree!

    Terri, glad I could make you smile.

  5. Go Owen go! And what an adorable pic of him, too! :)

  6. His expression argues that he would NEVER do such a thing.



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