Dog gets bite out of coconuts
February 28, 1998
Web posted at: 8:03 p.m. EST (0103 GMT)
KANJIRAPPALLY, India (CNN) -- At first glance, Tippu the Spanish Doberman isn't a ferocious dog.
But he sinks his teeth into one daily task -- cracking coconuts.
In the southern Indian coastal state of Kerala, there's a saying: "An impossible job is like giving an unhusked coconut to a dog."
But Tippu defies conventional wisdom.
"Tippu used to bite at the railings of his doghouse," says Tippu's owner, Thankamma Nicholas.
"So one day my husband gave him a coconut to bite...which he husked in about 15 minutes. Soon he became an expert in husking coconuts."
For the Nicholas family, Tippu's skill isn't just some nutty pet trick. Coconuts are important in Kerala as a source of food and milk as well as for the husk, which is used in rope and mats.
Tippu used to husk 10 to 15 coconuts daily, but on the advice of veterinarians, he is down to one or two a day.