Dexter’s reign of terror manifested in a variety of ways, but the primary manifestation was his alter ego – Alligator Jaws.
Gentle though he was, he turned into a different dog when trying to hand him a treat or piece of people food. Yes, he ate people food. I’ve since changed my ways, but back then it was share-and-share alike. We called him Alligator Jaws because of the violent way he snatched the food. You’d hear a loud SNAP! And then he’d have swallowed the treat whole.
His food-orientation was typical of Labs, but as with many things his love was tuned to 11 on the amplifier. In another early indicator, one time he took a half chicken off the plate in my lap, while I was sitting there trying to eat it. A total drive-by grab-and-go.
He had amazing aim and almost never took a finger with it, but giving treats was a nerve-wracking experience. I practiced a lot of drop and run treat-giving. Poor Dexter just had terrible aim when you tossed food to him. He’d just snap his jaw repeatedly, hoping the treat would land in there somehow. It was amusing watching him do his super-drooly “snap snap snap” trying to get a treat.
This is a super-bad video (and proves I have no shame or vanity because I look horrible) that shows old Alligator Jaws in action.
Later in life, he got a bit better… sort of. I took a video, of course.
Oddly, the one exception to the Alligator Jaws routine was with Pill Pockets. Dexter was ALWAYS on some sort of medicine, it seemed. We went through a lot of methods trying to get him to take pills. Peanut Butter, wrapped in bread, brute force. It was a constant battle. I don’t know who invented Pill Pockets, but I send them a hearty “Thank You!!”
Anyway, he didn’t do a lot of snapping for those. He loooooooved them, but he wasn’t violent about it. No idea why that was the case. Maybe he knew they were bitter in the center or something.
Su Casa es Mi Casa – or at least all the food in it. And the electronics. And any bags…
Nearly every week, we had another case of destruction. There were so many that eventually we just couldn’t track all of the stories. But we did take photos of some of the more spectacular feats.
I think it’s kind of akin to the cat who brings you the bird. That is to say, he was at once very sorry and very proud of his accomplishment. No doubt he figured that he was expressing his true devotion to me, showing that every time I left was heartbreaking.
So with that, I present just a few of the photos we took to document the destruction.