Daisy Duke almost made it through a month without destroying anything or doing any damage.

Almost.

Our precocious bloodhound seems to be getting calmer and even lazier these days. She’s been spending time laying on the couch, enjoying the company of kids and adults and hasn’t even been jumping up on people.

More amazingly, she’s getting along with her step-sisters Fern and Piper — most of the time.

It seems Daisy Duke is growing up.

But just when we thought she was becoming a boring hound, her sassy side reared its not-so-ugly head.

One evening, after we finished babysitting our young granddaughter, Daisy Duke was doing what she does — walking around the house sniffing every corner, every counter top, anything she could get her nose on.

When the sniffing stops is the time to become concerned.

Well this time as soon as the sniffing stopped, the chewing began. It’s never a good sound, but on this particular occasion, the chewing was alarmingly loud and crunchy. She was devouring something and she was doing it fast. She knows when she’s not supposed to have something and it turns into a game of “How much of this can I swallow before I get caught?”

I tracked her down to find out what was being crunched.

It was a box of crayons.

This required immediate attention. I had to pry her mouth open and remove the ones she didn’t swallow. Luckily she didn’t bite me with those goofy looking, crooked teeth that were covered in colored wax.

I reached down real deep to pull what I could out. My hands were encased in the kind of sticky slobber that can come out of only a bloodhound’s mouth.

She was giving me the same look I have seen a million times. It simply says “What the heck?”

She was enjoying the crayons — and the box — even though I’m pretty sure they didn’t taste as good as they looked.

There’s an old riddle I remember reading in a Bazooka Joe comic strip years ago. “What’s worse than finding a worm when you’re eating an apple? Half a worm.”

That’s exactly how I felt. “What’s worse than finding a bunch of crayons in your bloodhound’s mouth? A bunch of half-eaten crayons.”

The other half went somewhere.

Crayola’s website says its crayons are non-toxic to “the human body even if ingested or inhaled.”

Daisy Duke’s not human, but she sure inhaled the crayons as she ingested them. They would have been all gone if I hadn’t heard the guilty hound’s crunching.

Fortunately for us, the crayons are non-toxic to dogs as well. Choking and blockages are the biggest worries. She didn’t choke and there didn’t appear to be any blockages.

Daisy Duke had a good Christmas. Luckily, she didn’t eat our tree. She opened her present and seemed to enjoy running through the house shredding the wrapping paper more than she liked the bone that was in the package.

Then she got to go outside and play in the snow, which is really her favorite thing to do.

There was one disappointment, though. We were hoping for a colorful Christmas, but as it turns out, our crazy bloodhound didn’t poop out a rainbow.

Joe Avento’s column about his fun-loving bloodhound Daisy Duke is published the first Sunday of each month. Contact him at javento@johnsoncitypress.com.