Our dog, Piper, has been really great about not chewing things, generally. We stopped putting her in a crate a long time ago, trusting her to behave while we were gone. As long as we didn’t leave toys or candy out in plain sight, she was doing pretty well. That is, until we brought home this year’s Christmas tree.
I would come home after being gone for a couple hours and she would cower, knowing she had done something wrong. I would quickly look around, and eventually find the remains of a Christmas ornament or decoration. She destroyed ornaments that my kids had each made in preschool, which saddened me, and she came really close to destroying a couple ornaments I spent hours and hours cross-stitching. You have to understand that the ornaments on our tree are not there for decoration. Almost every ornament holds a memory for us. So I was not about to let this dog destroy our memories, one by one. To prevent her from destroying more of our precious memories, we relocated all the ornaments on the bottom of the tree to the top so that she couldn’t knock them down and chew them up.
It worked, in that she didn’t destroy anymore ornaments. However, it wasn’t enough. She was reminded that she really likes chewing stuff, so she found alternatives. One alternative, actually – my shoes. Now these were not expensive shoes, but they were useful to me. I wore them every day, except for that day of course – but that was only because I wore my snow boots – so I guess I’m in the market for a new pair of sneakers.
And, more importantly, Piper has been demoted to the crate when we leave her home alone. The crate we were using before was borrowed, so we had to go and buy a new one, but it’s cheaper than a new pair of shoes, and certainly worth it when you consider all those ornaments holding memories that cannot be replaced. Piper seems to be fine with the change, because she knows it makes us happy. As much as she loves chewing stuff, she really really hates it when we’re mad at her. This way, everybody’s happy. Let Christmas come!