1.We have two “chewers.” It doesn’t seem to be a phase, but more of honing a life skill. First it was mulch, which was fine (and cheap!) But when we filled the toy box with lots of cute toys, the price of entertainment rose exponentially. Each double-digit priced toy gave about 15 minutes of entertainment before we needed to haul out the Jaws of Life and perform an emergency “squeaker extraction.” (We caught all but 2, which thankfully passed without incident!) It hurts my head to think about how much we “invested” in a few moments of fun for them. I have learned and now resist the urge to purchase the cute stuff. Instead I head over to the boring, unimaginative aisle for “Serious Chewers”. Himilayan Dog Chews (made of Yak Milk) run us about $30 per week. They also like various and sundry Nylabones and natural stick products, which last longer (but apparently don’t taste as yummy).
The chewing, however, expanded beyond suitable toys. If you come I my house you might think termites have run amok. My pups have chewed on the wood patio furniture, the wood trim on the house, the wood baseboards throughout the house, the edges of the wood stairs, the wood knobs on the bedroom dresser, the wood Captain’s chest in the bedroom (plus the rope handles), and the piano legs and bench! If it’s wood, they will chew. It hurts my head to think about the repair bills…once they outgrow this stage.
Again, we expected chewing and the loss of an occasional shoe. Heck, I even HOPED he would chew up my old shoes so I could, with a clear conscious, buy new ones! But my dogs have good taste, and only went for the new expensive shoes. Ones that I absolutely LOVED!
And yes, well-meaning readers, we did spray Bitter Apple everywhere. There were times I treated it like perfume and douse myself in it (because they liked to chew on shoes even when my feet were in them.) Do you know those crazy pooches even chewed the bottle? It leaked all over the table. It had to have tasted badly…and yet, they chewed.
What I did NOT expect was that while I snuck out to get the mail, that they would sneak into my bedroom and devour every thing on my nightstand. Apparently, my little jewelry dish held some yummy items. They ate many earrings, and the ones on posts had to hurt! But the one I was most distressed over was my very favorite sea-glass earring. Notice that was singular…they only ate one…which I still have. I did not monitor the “output” for the missing one. I have shopped for something similar, but alas, nothing yet.
(It has just occurred to me the upside to this is my having to shop for replacement items! Maybe I need to rub some steak juice on some other things that are still perfectly serviceable but that I would love to replace! Brilliant, yes?)
All the dogs we’ve ever had were issued one leash each, which lasted a lifetime and was only retired once the dog was no longer with us. One leash per dog was in the budget. But, again with the chewing thing. One evening my husband came home carrying little Tiller. In his hand he held the leash, which had been chewed into 7 pieces while husband had stood talking to a neighbor, with not one segment long enough to lead the dog home. (Yes, it must have been a long conversation…) So Tiller got a new one. Which he again chewed during a neighborly jaw-wobble. We are on leash #5 now, but who’s counting?
Despite the above, we still have the pups and enjoy every minute with them. It has been a bigger financial pill that we’d intended to swallow, but it’s repaid daily in puppy kisses and welcoming tail wags. I guess what I’m saying is, no matter how hard you try, you can’t put a price on puppy love.