Dick Goddard: Pet Parade

Three photos of Dick Goddard with dogs and cats.

Six Inches of Partly Cloudy: Cleveland's Legendary TV Meteorologist Takes on Everything--and More, a book by Dick Goddard from Gray & Company, Publishers – front cover

Book Excerpt

From Six Inches of Partly Cloudy by Dick Goddard

Thanks to the generosity of my television employers, I have been able to offer dogs and cats for adoption since May 1980. There have been so many stories. Once, a kitten got loose before one show and was lost in the station for two days. We found her in just about the last place we could have looked: the extensive videotape rack.

We’ve had every emetic experience possible. My favorite was the time that Robin Swoboda’s cat (she was holding it on the anchor desk) presented her with not just vomit, but a nice selection of tapeworms. Great for the evening dinner-hour viewers.

My worst experience came the first week I was allowed to present the animals. A little Benji-type dog was too much for the nice couple in Parma who had called to adopt him. So I told them I’d drive over to pick up the dog and place her with another family. The dog had nipped the lady, but she was a nice soul and didn’t make a big deal out of it.

I had just picked up a shiny new car that afternoon, a very warm and humid day in May. The air conditioning wasn’t working, and that really upset me. I drove the car to Parma, picked up the pooch, and got into a massive traffic snarl on the way back to TV8. The little guy was restless, and I couldn’t roll down the windows very far since I knew the rascal would try to jump out of the car. As a result, the small car became a greenhouse.

As the pooch was hopping back and forth from the front seat to the back, I suddenly perceived an abominable odor. Right. Little Benji had responded to nature’s call . . . directly over the gearshift box, just to my right. It was stop-and-go in traffic for what would be the longest thirty-five minutes of my life. The aroma was overpowering. Perspiration was streaming down my face, and as people would pull up alongside me and wave, I tried my best to smile back, pretending I was having a nice day. My other problem, amid the major problem of doggie diarrhea, was that Benji kept jumping from the passenger seat into my lap, depositing a few souvenirs en route.

I finally arrived at the television station and almost tore the car door off trying to get out into the fresh air. I looked through the window and noticed that the pooch seemed to be smiling; at least he was wagging his soggy tail. Even so, I loved that little fella. It could happen to any of us.

How to Give a Cat a Pill

Giving a cat a pill is one of the most difficult challenges in life, sort of like shoveling smoke, nailing jelly, or putting socks on a rooster. Here are special techniques you can use to ease a pill down a cat’s throat:

1. Pick up cat and cradle in the crook of your arm. Position forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in free hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in arm, holding rear paws tightly. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap and call spouse to help. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees. Hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

5. Retrieve cat from curtains and get another pill from foil wrap (make note to repair torn curtains).

6. Wrap cat in large towel. Get spouse to lie on cat with cat’s head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat’s mouth open with pencil, and blow pill down straw.

7. Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans, have a drink to take taste away. Apply bandage to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with plenty of cold water and soap.

8. Consider trading cat for a hamster.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1. Wrap pill in bacon and give it to dog.

From the book Six Inches of Partly Cloudy, © Dick Goddard. All rights reserved.

This excerpt may not be used in any form for commercial purposes without the written permission of Gray & Company, Publishers.