We generally think of artistry as linked to the creative pursuits. But how about the realm of destruction? Surely must be some real talent there too.

I got to thinking about this a couple nights ago when visiting friends.

Their two tiny dogs are always way too excited to see a visitor and it's a 10 minute barking frenzy before we can all finally settle down and have a chin wag.

Yep, without firm boundaries dogs can descend into chaos.


I recall Whammo, a large dog of no certain pedigree, that I met a few years back.

At first encounter I felt it safe to go for the small talk and politely asked Whammo, "What's going on boy?"

Good start maybe, but it didn't take long before I realised that behind those gaping eyes there was actually nothing going on … nothing at all. As they say, the wheel was spinning but the hamster was dead.

I hear Whammo was left in the car one afternoon while the owner quickly ducked into the supermarket.

Cherished family pet then proceeded to munch through the foam seats, vinyl trim, door panels and dashboard - the family station wagon became a technical write off within 20 minutes. This is masterful stuff.

Next shopping mission they decided to leave Whammo safely at home … good move at first, until our canine maestro got a taste for gib-board, lounge suite and carpet underlay.

Following an urgent family meeting, poor Whammo was banished outside the house. Revengeful and hurting maybe, our big puppy then proceeded to shred the downpipes, compost bins and letterbox.

A true artist, Whammo surely earns the title of supreme destruction maestro – a veritable gift to humanity.


- Marc Spijkerbosch is the Rotorua Lakes Council community arts adviser.