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Monday, April 28, 2008

Horror Story: If It Doesn't Move, Chew It!

Becky Rish says...

(Doesn't sound so horrible now that I've got it in writing!!)

When my mini schnauzer puppy, Opal, was about 8 months old, we decided she could be trusted to stay unsupervised in the house with our older dog, Olive, while we were away at work. We always pick up loose things and "valuables" before we leave, make sure the dogs have access to their toys, close all the bedroom and bathroom doors, and let them have access to the backyard through the doggie door. Sounds safe enough, right? I mean it's always worked for Olive. Well, Opal is a different dog altogether. She doesn't need something loose to carry off and chew up. She's perfectly happy to chew on those things she can't move, too. Lots of the baseboard molding in my house needs to be replaced because she's gnawed it down, and I'm always on her to quit picking at the carpet. Fortunately, the couch was no heirloom and in need of replacement soon anyway, because she managed to remove the fabric completely from one end of it one day while we were away. I wanted to sew her up inside it!! We somehow managed to hold our tempers though, and immediately installed a gate to block the way from the laundry room to the kitchen while we're away, while still allowing doggie door access. It's been there since (about 5 months I guess), and will probably be there another year or so before we give her a try without it. (I think Olive was 2 years old before she quit chewing up anything she could carry off.) We feel bad for exiling Olive too, but they seem to have adjusted together just fine. Of course while we're at home, the gate stays open and the dogs are free to visit any part of the house they want to. The couch has since been replaced with a leather set, (I know, we're brave), but Opal doesn't get left alone with access to it!!

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