I can not take credit for this. It has been one of my very favorite things on line since things were first shared in emails instead of faxes. The site I’ve always read it from is a bit hard to see on mobile, so I’m reposting it here for a friend.
I am, for the most part, leaving the original formatting. So please don’t blame me for the ugliness!
This was sent to me as is: I make no comments.
From: Edward Hume <email@example.com> Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 20:40:36 -0500 Subj: Dogs in elk ____________________________________________________________
I edited the follow-up thread
The original is here:
dogs in elk Posted by Anita z8 Seattle (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Fri, Oct 22, 99 at 14:44 The following apparently appeared recently on one of the newsgroups, rec.pets. It sounds pretty believable to me–though it’s so funny, I’m not sure that I care. It’s pretty long, but it’s worth it. ———————
Anne V – 01:01pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1318 of 1332) Okay – I know how to take meat away from a dog. How do I take a dog away from meat? This is not, unfortunately, a joke.
AmyC – 01:02pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1319 of 1332) Um, can you give us a few more specifics here?
Anne V – 01:12pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1320 of 1332) They’re inside of it. They crawled inside, and now I have a giant incredibly heavy piece of carcass in my yard, with 2 dogs inside of it, and they are NOT getting bored of it and coming out. One of them is snoring. I have company arriving in three hours, and my current plan is to 1. put up a tent over said carcass and 2. hang thousands of fly strips inside it. This has been going on since about 6:40 this morning.
AmyC – 01:19pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1321 of 1332) Oh. My. God. What sort of carcass is big enough to hold a couple of dogs inside? Given the situation, I’m afraid you’re not going to be create enough of a diversion to get the dogs out of the carrion, unless they like greeting company as much as they like rolling around in dead stuff. Which seems unlikely. Can you turn a hose on the festivities?
Ase Innes-Ker – 01:31pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1322 of 1332) I’m sorry Anne. I know this is a problem (and it would have driven me crazy), but it is also incredibly funny.
Anne V – 01:31pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1323 of 1332) Elk. Elk are very big this year, because of the rain and good grazing and so forth. They aren’t rolling. They are alternately napping and eating. They each have a ribcage. Other dogs are working on them from the outside. It’s all way too primal in my yard right now. We tried the hose trick. At someone elses house, which is where they climbed in and began to refuse to come out. Many hours ago. I think that the hose mostly helps keep them cool and dislodges little moist snacks for them. hose failed. My new hope is that if they all continue to eat at this rate, they will be finished before the houseguests arrive. The very urban houseguests. Oh, god – I know it’s funny. It’s appalling, and funny, and completely entirely representative of life with dogs.
Kristen R. – 01:37pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1324 of 1332) I’m so glad I read this thread, dogless as I am. Dogs in elk. Dogs in elk.
Anne V – 01:41pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1325 of 1332) It’s like that childrens book out there – dogs in elk, dogs on elk, dogs around elk, dogs outside elk. And there is some elk inside of, as well as on, each dog at this point.
Elizabeth K – 01:57pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1328 of 1333) Anne, aren’t you in Arizona or Nevada? There are elk there? I’m so confused! We definately need to see pics of Gus Pong and Jake in the elk carcass.
Anne V – 02:03pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1329 of 1333) I am in New Mexico, but there are elk in both arizona and nevada, yes. There are elk all over the da*n place. They don’t look out very often. If you stand the ribcage on end they scramble to the top and look out, all red. Otherwise, you kinda have to get in there a little bit yourself to really see them. So I think there will not be pictures.
CoseyMo – 02:06pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1330 of 1333) “all red;” I’m not sure the deeper horror of all this was fully borne in upon me till I saw that little phrase.
Anne V – 02:10pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1331 of 1333) Well, you know, the Basenji (that would be Jake) is a desert dog, naturally, and infamous for it’s aversion to water. And then, Gus Pong (who is coming to us, live, unamplified and with a terrific reverb which is making me a little dizzy) really doesn’t mind water, but hates to be cold. Or soapy. And both of them can really run. Sprints of up to 35 mph have been clocked. So. If ever they come out, catching them and returning them to a condition where they can be considered house pets is not going to be, shall we say, pleasant.
CoseyMo – 02:15pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1332 of 1333) What if you stand the ribcage on end, wait for them to look out, grab them when they do and pull?
Anne V – 02:18pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1333 of 1333) They wedge their toes between the ribs. And scream. We tried that before we brought the elk home from the mountain with dogs inside. Jake nearly took my friends arm off. He’s already short a toe, so he cherishes the 15 that remain.
Linda Hewitt – 02:30pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1336 of 1356) Have you thought about calling your friendly vet and paying him to come pick up the dogs, elk and letting the dogs stay at the vets overnight. If anyone would know what to do, it would be your vet. It might cost some money, but it would solve the immediate crisis. Keep us posted.
ChristiPeters – 02:37pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1337 of 1356) Yikes! My sympathy! When I lived in New Mexico, my best friend’s dog (the escape artist) was continually bringing home road kill. When there was no road kill convenient, he would visit the neighbor’s house. Said neighbor slaughtered his own beef. The dog found all kinds of impossibly gross toys in the neighbor’s trash pit. I have always had medium to large dogs. The smallest dog I ever had was a mutt from the SPCA who matured out at just above knee high and about 55 pounds. Our current dog (daughter’s choice) is a Pomeranian. A very small Pomeranian. She’s 8 months old now and not quite 4 pounds. I’m afraid I’ll break her.
Lori Shiraishi – 02:38pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1338 of 1356) Bet you could fit a whole lot of Pomeranians in that there elk carcass! Anne – my condolences on what must be an unbelievable situation!
Anne V – 02:44pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1339 of 1356) I did call my vet. He laughed until he was gagging and breathless. He says a lot of things, which can be summed as *what did you expect?* and *no, there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog.* He is planning to stop over and take a look on his way home. Thanks, Lori. I am almost surrendered to the absurdity of it.
Lori Shiraishi – 02:49pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1340 of 1356) “He is planning to stop over and take a look on his way home.” So he can fall down laughing in person?
Anne V – 02:50pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1341 of 1356) Basically, yeah. That would be about it.
AmyC – 02:56pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1342 of 1356) No, there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog.” Oh, sweet lo*d, Anne. You have my deepest sympathies in this, perhaps the most peculiar of the Gus Pong Adventures. You are truly a woman of superhuman patience. wait — you carried the carcass down from the mountains with the dogs inside?
Anne V – 02:59pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1343 of 1356) The carcass down from the mountains with the dogs inside? no, well, sort of. My part in the whole thing was to get really stressed about a meeting that I had to go to, and say *yeah, ok, whatever* when it was suggested that the ribcages, since we couldn’t get the dogs out of them and the dogs couldn’t be left there, be brought to my house. Because, you know – I just thought they would get bored of it sooner or later. But it appears to be later, in the misty uncertain future, that they will get bored. Now, they are still interested. And very loud, one singing, one snoring.
Lori Shiraishi – 03:04pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1344 of 1356) And very loud, one singing, one snoring. wow. I can’t even begin to imagine the acoustics involved with singing from the inside of an elk.
Anne V – 03:04pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1345 of 1356) reverb. lots and lots of reverb.
Anne V – 03:15pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1347 of 1356) I’ll tell you the thing that is causing me to lose it again and again, and then I have to go back outside and stay there for a while. After the meeting, I said to my (extraordinary) boss, “look, I’ve gotta go home for the rest of the day, I think. Jake and Gus Pong are inside some elk ribcages, and my dad is coming tonight, so I’ve got to get them out somehow.” And he said, pale and huge-eyed, “Annie, how did you explain the elk to the clients?” The poor, poor man thought I had the carcasses brought to work with me. For some reason, I find this deeply funny. (weekend pause)
Anne V – 08:37am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1395 of 1405) So what we did was put the ribcages (containing dogs) on tarps and drag them around to the side yard, where I figured they would at least be harder to see, and then opened my bedroom window so that the dogs could let me know when they were ready to be plunged into a de-elking solution and let in the house. Then I went to the airport. Came home, no visible elk, no visible dogs. Peeked around the shrubs, and there they were, still in the elk. By this time, they had gnawed out some little portholes between some of the ribs, and you got the occasional very frightening glimpse of something moving around in there if you watched long enough. After a lot of agonizing, I went to bed. I closed the back door, made sure my window was open, talked to the dogs out of it until I as sure they knew it was open, and then I fell asleep. Sometimes, sleep is a mistake, no matter how tired you are. And especially if you are very very tired, and some of your dogs are outside, inside some elks. Because when you are that tired, you sleep through bumping kind of noises, or you kind of think that it’s just the house guests. It wasn’t the house guests. It was my dogs, having an attack of teamwork unprecedented in our domestic history. When I finally woke all the way up, it was to a horrible vision. Somehow, 3 dogs with a combined weight of about 90 pounds, managed to hoist one of the ribcages (the meatier one, of course) up 3 feet to rest on top of the swamp cooler outside the window, and push out the screen. What woke me was Gus Pong, howling in frustration from inside the ribcage, very close to my head, combined with feverish little grunts from Jake, who was standing on the nightstand, bracing himself against the curtains with remarkably bloody little feet. Here are some things I have learned, this Rosh Hashanah weekend: 1. almond milk removes elk blood from curtains and pillowcases, 2. We can all exercise superhuman strength when it comes to getting elk carcasses out of our yard, 3. The sight of elk ribcages hurtling over the fence really frightens the nice deputy sheriff who lives across the street, and 4. the dogs can pop the screens out of the windows, without damaging them, from either side.
Anne V – 09:58am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1401 of 1405) What I am is really grateful that they didn’t actually get the damn thing in the window, which is clearly the direction they were going in. And that the nice deputy didn’t arrest me for terrifying her with elk parts before dawn.
AmyC – 09:59am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1402 of 1405) Imagine waking up with a gnawed elk carcass in your bed, like a real-life “Godfather” with an all-dog cast.
Anne V – 10:01am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1403 of 1405) There is not enough almond milk in the world to solve an event of that kind.
Follow-Up Postings: RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Andrew
(email@example.com) on Fri, Oct 22, 99 at 15:18 Edible pet carriers. You might be on to something here.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: suzy (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Fri, Oct 22, 99 at 17:07 my daughter’s two big dogs used to carry around dead mummified g’hogs…and thigh bones from butchered cows and the occasional deer. their most fav activity in the whole world was running out the back door in the morning and rolling in cow plops.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Becky the DD (Srac1216@aol.com) on Fri, Oct 22, 99 at 18:55 And I thought my golden retriever was bad for eating the occasional baby bird!
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Dawn (email@example.com) on Wed, Nov 3, 99 at 20:24 Hey, free food for the dogs. We feed our dogs a raw diet, and I wouldn’t have to feed them for MONTHS!!! I just doubt that ours would get along long enough to eat any. My poor husband, working in the other room while I sit here laughing like this. Thanks, I needed a good laugh.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Wally L. Speers (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wed, Nov 3, 99 at 22:49 Ha,ha,ha…I’ll never be able to eat ribs again without thinking of this story. I only hope I don’t choke while thinking about it.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Jeff (email@example.com) on Fri, Nov 5, 99 at 17:24 I will go right out and start training my papillon and pomeranian. “No elk. Bad boy! Bad girl! Here’s a treat. No elk. DROP!! DROP!! Good boy and girl”.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Barbara (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Sun, Nov 7, 99 at 10:37 I got word of this site through our dog behaviour problems list! wonder what the advice for Anne would have been from that forum?
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Anita z8 Seattle (email@example.com) on Mon, Nov 8, 99 at 12:44 A note to some of those who responded: I am not Anne V. I did not write this. This story was forwarded to me by someone who claims to have found it on the newsgroup rec.pets (as I said at the beginning of the posting). If you want to contact Anne V., I suggest that you go to rec.pets, search for this thread, and get her email address there. Thanks.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Sandy B (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Mon, Nov 8, 99 at 21:07 Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod. I got this off a raw diet list, which really makes it funny. Can’t believe none of the Basenji lists have found it yet. They will tonight!!! Maybe they have and haven’t passed it on because it is too much like “just another day with a Basenji” type thing. Only thing I wonder about at this point, was there one or two ribcages? Sometimes it seemed like she was infering each dog had its own cage.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Kay Eldred (email@example.com) on Tue, Nov 9, 99 at 1:21 There are no Elk here in Australia but I spent a few years in Canada so know the size of the animal involved. I have had Basenjis for 26 years and this has to be one of the funniest stories I have every read with regard to this wonderful unique breed. Mine have hunted possums snakes and many small creatures – but elk !!
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Andie (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wed, Nov 10, 99 at 12:37 Well.. I have never read anything this funny! It’s jus so good – and so typically “dog”! I never thought anything could be worse than the day my Golden Lab, Lucas, rolled in a very, very dead fox in the mountains and I had to take extremely pongy dog home in car – with windows up coz winter and raining.. but this takes the cake! Thank you so much for sharing it.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Susan (email@example.com) on Wed, Nov 10, 99 at 13:52 One of the best dog (let alone basenji) stories ever! Watching the tale unfold was like rubbernecking at an accident site…. you’re horrified, but you just can’t look away… When I got to the part about the dogs breaking into the bedroom with their edible den, THAT’s when I broke up.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Carole DeHart (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wed, Nov 10, 99 at 14:21 ROTFL … this was posted to Rottie-L, a rottweiler discussion group. I thought my rottie went a little overboard when she “vaccumed up” three fledgling blue jays, I can just imagine her with an elk carcass. Yikes! cj RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: AndieP (email@example.com) on Wed, Nov 10, 99 at 22:04 So typically basenji. Hilarious, and believable. Basenjis do not know the word impossible…. During the past 28 years I have seen them do some near impossible things. It reminds me of an incident from those long-ago days when I was very new to basenjis and had yet to learn of their exploits. I have a thanksgiving story from the early 70s when I first had basenjis. After dinner when we were all sitting around groaning in the living room, we heard some odd thumps coming from the kitchen. One of the basenjis had stuck his head inside the turkey carcase and was being “helped” by 2 other basenjis who were trying to pull bits off the outside. He was not trying to get the turkey carcase off his head, he was just trying to keep it away from the other basenjis. I had to sit down on the floor I laughed so hard. this was before the days of camcorders so all we got was one still picture of Jet with a “turkey head”. I sent it in to one of the dog magazines but they did not print it, they said it was “too contrived”. Obviously they did not know anything about basenjis. Basenjis will not do anything if it is not their idea.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: vicki (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wed, Nov 10, 99 at 22:18 not funny. don’t get it. personally would have left dumb dogs and elk in the woods!
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Katherine (Kbwrph54@netins.net) on Thu, Nov 11, 99 at 2:37 This tale reminds me of home butchering time on the farm. This of course had to be done in cold weather. Our farm dogs would bury choice tidbits in snow banks and feast on them for weeks.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Richard Gire (Gire_Richard@smc.edu) on Fri, Nov 12, 99 at 12:31 Man, it sounds like these dogs are a menace. What the hell are you going to feed these dogs after the meat is gone!!! Don’t run out of food and don’t fall down in the yard.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Tabatha (email@example.com) on Mon, Nov 15, 99 at 20:42 Congratulations your story reached all the way to Australia and it’s just as funny here.
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Mon, Nov 15, 99 at 23:35 Do you suppose that if the dog groomer saw you coming with the pack for the clean up — would he hurry and put the closed sign on the door?
RE: dogs in elk * Posted by: Judy (email@example.com) on Sat, Nov 20, 99 at 22:03 Well, this has hit the UK ! Thanks !!!! . . . Try reading it with a mouthful of red wine. Like I did 🙂 Judy, England.
HERE ENDETH THE EPISTLE
The Validity of the Dogs in Elk Story
Since publishing the pumpkin version of the Dogs in Elk story, I’ve received dozens of e-mails from people curious about the story’s validity. I’ve also received e-mail from Anne Verchick, owner of the “real” dogs in elk.
I’ve never seen the dogs myself, and I’ve as yet to see a picture of the actual event, but here are some snippets of what Annie had to say. She sent me this 10/28/99:
Hi, Rob – This is Anne Verchick, owner of the dogs in elk. The pumpkin carving is lovely, and, on a smaller, more vegetative scale, really pretty faithful to what was one of the messier experiences of my recent life.
Thanks, and take care. Annie
After a couple of e-mail volleys, I finally mustered up the nerve to ask Annie to attest to the validity of the story. She wrote back:
Sure, I can attest. I mean, I can tell you that it really did happen. I can ask a couple of people who stopped by to admire the whole scene to get in touch with you, or give you their email addresses and phone numbers.
Does that help at all? I think that it’s easy for me to lose track of how atypical my dog experiences are, in some ways, because like everyone else, what I compare the world to is my experience.
The thing about the dogs in elk thing is this – with the dogs I have, especially Gus Pong, who is a New Guinea Singing Dog, and a complete freak of primitive dogdom, dogs in elk is in some ways a fairly minor event, in that it involved fewer people than usual. Sharing a house with a very primitive, deeply attached and wildly inspired animal has led me into all sorts of situations I never anticipated as a pet owner.
How dogs in elk began is a little odd, without considerable history – ignore now, if you’re not interested. Gus Pong is a New Guinea Singing Dog – currently, they are classified as a subspecies of Dingo, but what they look like is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Shiba Inu. And he is an incredibly fussy eater. In the highlands, they live as semi-pariah dogs in the villages, and their primary use is for hunting. So, after being unable to find a commercial dog food that he would eat at all, I contacted local game processors and butchers. I lucked out. I found a really nice guy who was willing to give me (since game can’t be sold) trim and bones, which turned out to be something Gus Pong (and my other two dogs, Jake and Stella) thought was just fine. You can see, I am sure, where this is going. They had a rich texan come in, and shoot his tags, and not want the meat. So they did a really rough field dress, and called and asked if I wanted to come pick up about 100 lbs of slabcut elk and so forth. I said sure, and mistakenly put Jake and Gus in the car before driving up. Well, they got out of the car (One of slider windows was cracked, which I didn’t realize) and you know the rest.
The original chain of posts begins here: http://tabletalk.salon.com/webx?14@@.ee90352/1317 which is in TableTalk, a forum at Salon, an ezine that added a webcrossing forum to it. That’s why I am so astonished that it made it all over the web – and really all over. My mother has gotten multiple copies from friends, asking if my dogs are *really* that out of control.
Take care, and let me know if you’d like to speak to someone other than me who was there.