Dogs and the Treasures They Bring Home

Pork chops, bathing suits, not-so-dead possums: Readers describe the strange and surprising items their pets retrieved

Dog sitting on a table

Photo: Courtesy of Matt Davis

Dixie, when she's not “delivering” newspapers.

In a recent Talk of the South newsletter, we asked readers, “What’s the strangest thing your dog’s ever brought home?” Here are a few of the many responses:

Albert, our Welsh corgi, was always bringing all sorts of things home, but the prize was a jelly doughnut. —Sheran S.

My neighbor’s Weimaraner once brought home a man’s bathing suit with keys in the pocket. All we knew to do was hang the bathing suit out on our mailbox. —Bill K. 

Our “pig” dog, Roy, once stole our neighbor’s bag of kitten food and brought it to our home since we had just adopted two kittens. —Johnnie P.

We had a yellow Lab mix named Bailey. Her most incredible find was a tumbler half filled with bourbon on the rocks. We wished we could have seen her coming down the street with that glass clenched in her mouth—along with the neighbor’s expression when he reached for his “where in the hell did I put it??” missing drink. —Jane C.

She bought me a lizard for Mother’s Day. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate her gift, but I went out and bought myself a Betsey Johnson cat-inspired handbag. —Paige G.

This is a cat story, but I think it fits the spirit of the question. A friend has two cats. One slipped out and came back, triumphantly dropping a dead bird just inside the door. The second cat slipped out immediately and returned with a piece of warm barbecued chicken and dropped it inside the door. None of their close neighbors were grilling. —Ann W. 

A Corelle cereal bowl. That was the week after she brought a bathing-suit top. Yes, she’s a retriever. —Melissa R. 

We could hear our blue tick running at nine-ish at night. We were sitting on the back porch when she came back and placed a full-grown possum in my wife’s lap. I told my wife not to move and grabbed the possum by the tail and took it back to the woods to escape. It was playing a great game of possum. —Jim M.

A stick of butter. Though, to be fair, it is her favorite food. —Stephanie

My Lab Dixie would collect the newspaper every day for me. After being rewarded each day with a doggie treat for her fine work, being a smart Lab, she eventually started running all over the neighborhood, finding other newspapers, and bringing those home. Her record was sixteen newspapers one day. —Matt D.

My dog Lily brought me a dead bird and put it at my feet. She brought it in through the dog door. So proud she caught it that she wanted Mama to have it. —Jean P.

Mugsy brought home two brothers: Hooper, a white Lab, and Bo, an Irish setter he had apparently just met while he was out carousing the neighborhood (we thought he was in our backyard). I opened my front door and the three of them came running in and started rasslin’ in our living room. —Rich K.

A rat’s tail. —Jane G.

Our big red dog, Joe, was a notorious thief in our small neighborhood of Franklin, North Carolina. He regularly brought home shoes, toys, and random items from back porches and yards. But I was amazed and surprised the day he brought home a stove-top pressure cooker pot. That thing was heavy. How he managed that, I will never know. —Peggy K.

Chicken leg from the neighbor’s unattended grill. I felt horrible but never confessed. —Sharon D.

We live in rural Western North Carolina and have an English Coonhound named Pepper. Just a few weeks ago, Pepper brought home a beaver carcass. We’re used to all sorts of deer parts, but seeing that beaver tail was quite a surprise. —Susan G.

My dog delivered a young dead possum to the back door one night. I brought the dog in, then went out to dispose of the possum, which had disappeared. That was when I learned that “playing possum“ really was a thing. —Jan A.

We used to have a basset-mix dog named Clyde. We came home one day and he met us in the hallway (with a look that said “you’re home early!”) with half of a rabbit in his mouth. I was afraid to go upstairs to the bedroom—afraid the other half was in the middle of the bed. —Sue P.

My dog Jack once came back with a baby fawn. Had it in his mouth. I asked him to put it down, he did, and the deer walked back unharmed to the woods nearby. Jack is a German shorthaired pointer, a versatile gentleman. —Sam V. 

A box turtle. This fella got a free ride to my backyard, having been evacuated from the front lawn out by the street. Score one for Scarlett, saving reptiles from their own risky decisions since 2009—and dedicated to warning squirrels of similar fates. —Trey G.

Years ago, we lived in a little house up on the mountain, and a neighbor had a golden retriever named Johna, who would visit us and bring apples. Two, sometimes three in his mouth, all at one time. He would drop them without leaving a single tooth mark. We’re on our fifth golden now, and what Johna really brought home was our love for the best four-legged companions on Earth. —Jeff E.

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