As a High School teacher, you can imagine the excuses I heard for why homework wasn't done. One of my favorites was when a student brought his dog to class along with his dog bed and lots of newspapers. He wanted the dog to stay in class until the homework "passed" (So to Speak!) An A for Creativity?
Needless to say I had a little chuckle when I read in 1936, John Steinbeck’s dog Toby, an Irish Setter, turned the first draft of Of Mice and Men into a snack. In a letter dated May 27 of that year, the future Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner wrote that he “was pretty mad, but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically.”
Steinbeck estimated that Toby making “confetti” of the manuscript would set him back by about two months, but it may have been worth it: Steinbeck’s short, tragic tale of two migrant workers eking out a humble existence in California during the Depression is among the author’s most moving and accomplished works, which is saying something for the man responsible for both East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck, a lifelong dog-lover, later wrote a travelogue featuring his poodle called Travels with Charley.