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Monday, August 14, 2006

The Dog Ate My iPod

Oh, Dear, Dept.: My son's beloved new-ish puppy, obviously responding to some sort of canine anxiety beyond the range of human perception, decided this morning to a) poop on the kitchen floor, b) chew up my son's favorite new T-shirt, and c) gnaw on his iPod as if it were a bone, totalling it.

His iPod that he bought with his own money, that is. His most expensive possession. And, apart from his bass guitar, the only one in daily use. Too bad it wasn't only homework...Lulu is really in the doghouse, as they say.

The nice man at the Apple store tells us that it is probably fixable, although he threw so many qualifiers that it's obvious he doesn't really think it's worth it to try.

I'm usually the one dispensing advice, not asking for it, but iPods are outside of my rather narrow range of expertise. Does anyone have any comparative buying advice for acquiring an iPod off eBay for something less than an a paw and a tooth? I'd be interested to know if there are any "dogs" amongst the alternatives or if there are any older iPods that are either good bargains or worth steering away from. I have a feeling it's up to me to help Lulu restore her reputation in the household. Any iPod experts out there?

In the Doghouse: The Offender


UPDATE: I'm pleased to report that Mike Sisk, a reader of the blog, has offered to swap a 2GB iPod Nano for prints of a couple of pictures of mine that he likes. So Zander will get a replacement iPod—and Lulu, a chance at redemption! Many thanks to Mike and to everyone who offered ideas and assistance.

Featured Comment by John: We have been to several dog trainers that call the period from about 8 to 9 months old "the stupid period." Dogs this age often seem to forget their name, forget they are housebroken, seemingly forget everything they ever learned. It generally lasts for less than a month and the dogs go back to normal. Good luck.


Blogger Dwight Jones said... sold me a used iPod at a VERY good price. They are a "socially responcible" company in Vermont and have political views similar to yours and mine...

9:28 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Mike, this must be really painful for your son, but risking sounding very insensitive, I must say the history is really funny (well, it's partly your fault, with that title!).
But this kind of things are also full of teachings for young people. Well, may be your son is not that young.
But I remember suffering that kind of accidents and learning without too much actual harm that sometimes even with the best intentions, things don't always work out the way we expect or want them to.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

Hehe... as a long-time reader of your stuff, I feel bad having a chuckle at your expense.

...but I think we're gonna HAVE to cover this on Hound TV (the world's first video podcast for dogs and their owners) - if only as a warning to our viewers not let their mutts get TOO close :-)

10:07 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Hi Mike, last year I bought a refurbished iPod from and it's been serving us well. The price was pretty reasonable and it's under warranty.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Dave said... has some deals on referb ipods. I take it this was a puppish dog (less then 1 1/2 years), if so this too will pass (along with some ipod parts).

10:27 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

We think the dog is about 9 months old, although we don't know for certain. As for the MP3 player, it was a silver iPod Mini 4GB, R.I.P.

It is still making pathetic little noises and its screen intermittently flashes for help, in the form of a logo that says "go to"

Lulu, unfortunately, has strong teeth. She cracked the earbuds like nuts and, we think, crushed the iPod's hard drive. Nothing obvious was ingested, just masticated.

This has been one tough little iPod, too. It has suffered several falls from skateboards (one a direct hit scratching the case severely), and has been in Zander's pocket for a number of wrestling matches, I think, even though he promises he never wrestles unless he gives it to a friend to hold. It's never been through the wash, thanks to my eternal and somewhat nervous vigilance.

'Tis a sad, sad day around the Johnston household.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Svein-Frode said...

At least the Dingo didn't eat your Baby...!

2:07 AM  
Blogger Oly said...

I think karma pretty much requires you buy it from Small Dog.

OK, maybe not, but they do have some fairly cheap older iPods. Wouldn't be as nice as a mini..

5:41 AM  
Blogger wojtekk said...

Do not buy an iPod, Mike. It is absolutely not worth it's price - sound quality is rubbish and it does not offer anything except gadget-ish glittering marketing philosophy behind it :)

Buy something from Cowon iAudio or iRiver and you will be really satisfied with the sound and build quality. Good sound.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Robert Roaldi said...

I had a cat chew up a TV remote control once. Maybe our pets are trying to tell us something.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...


I had just read about this site: the other day and thought of it when I read your post. Hope this helps.

7:53 AM  
Blogger m. said...

You have my sympathies. Somebody stole my wife's silver iPod mini out of her car while it parked in front of my house.

10:00 AM  
Blogger fivetonsflax said...

Word from an ex-Genius friend of mine is that the 3G iPods, the ones with the buttons above the scroll wheel, are really bad. Anything else is, AFAIK, fine.

8:28 AM  
Blogger John Lehet said...

One way to get an ipod cheap-ish is to buy a relatively new one with a broken screen on eBay. Last I looked an iPod with a broken LCD is worth about $50 on eBay. Cost of repair about $110.

I did this, buying my daughter's broken-screen iPod from her for $75 (seemed fair, and I made the offer before I checked eBay, to find I was overpaying). I can't remember where I got the LCD fixed, but I could figure that out, probably. I've been shlepping and pounding this ipod around for a while, enjoying it.

11:14 PM  

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