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CHRIS TRAINOR


Small things can cause big trouble.

I have seven pounds of trouble at my house. His name is Ollie.

Ollie, you see, is our dog, a black “morkipoo” (Maltese, Yorkshire and poodle. Yes, I know) and unrepentant rascal who showed up last summer to live with us and wreak havoc. My 8-year-old daughter Charley insisted on naming him “Ollie” because that’s “Papa’s favorite store.” (Papa is her grandfather, my dad.)

A lot of the time, though, I end up calling him “Kansas City Dog,” because my wife and daughter bought him while I was away in Kansas City, Missouri, for a weekend watching the Royals play baseball. Knowing there was no way I’d ever agree to a “morkipoo” in-person, they waited until I was away at a ballgame and very distracted to call and butter me up about getting this dog.

If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you know my wife has deployed these kinds of tactics quite often. She catches me watching a ballgame and springs something on me. Like, I’ll be watching the South Carolina play football and it might be late in the fourth quarter and the Gamecocks need a big defensive stop.

Right at the most crucial moment, she’ll breeze past me and casually say, “I’m thinking about totally remodeling the bathroom.” Flash forward two weeks and the bathroom is getting torn out and I’m wondering what the hell happened.

And so, we’ve had our fancy dog, purchased from some very nice Mennonite folks in the Abbeville countryside (not to be confused with my previous dog, Phozzy, a poodle purchased from a trailer in Ware Shoals), for about nine months. Sometimes I call him by his given, discount-store-inspired name. But, when he’s been bad, which is often, I end up using the “Kansas City Dog” moniker, a sort of “Hey, this wasn’t my idea” reminder to my wife and daughter.

Y’all, there is nothing this dog won’t chew. NOTHING. Bones, shoes, baseboards (he’s a baseboard specialist), chairs, antiques, the carpet, furniture, you name it.

He doesn’t just chew stuff. He eats it. I’m serious. He’s eaten almost an entire couch in our sunroom. People don’t believe me when I say a seven-pound dog has eaten a goodly portion of an honest-to-God couch, but I swear it’s true.

I feel like Quint from “Jaws” when I talk about it. “This morkipoo, swallow you whole. A little shaking, a little tenderizing, and down you go.”

We got some natural spray that is supposed to deter dogs from chewing on things. So, for example, if your dog chews on the couch armrests, you spray the armrests and he’ll stop chewing them. The problem with Ollie is that when you put the spray on something he just goes and chews something else. I guess I need to spray the whole house. Maybe have one of those crop-dusting planes fly over and take care of it.

Charger cords are also one of the Kansas City Dog’s chewing specialties. Android cords, iPhone cords, Kindle cords; he doesn’t discriminate. He’s a ninja of phone cord chewing. The Jean-Claude Van Dog of phone charger cords. I think he could actually write reviews on how different phone cords taste.

“The Samsung Adaptive Fast Charger offers a smoky, full-bodied flavor, with just a smidge of a mint aftertaste, though it must be said that the texture leaves something to be desired.”

Ollie’s also a digger. He dug one hole so deep in my back yard that I could just about see the molten hot center of the Earth. He also has tried to escape on multiple occasions by digging under the back fence, but (upon the advice of my father-in-law) I sprinkled some cayenne pepper along the fence line and he gave that up.

I’m making the Kansas City Dog sound like an unholy terror, and he’s actually isn’t. Not quite. He has a few redeeming attributes, one of which is that my daughter loves him to pieces. She carries him around like a baby, sneaks him food and insists on having him curl up in bed beside her every night. So, if she loves him that much, then I love him, too. At least a little bit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed to Ollie’s (the store) to buy a new phone charger.

Chris Trainor is a contributing columnist for the Index-Journal. Contact him at ChrisTrainorSC@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter@ChrisTrainorSC. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.