At the risk of seeming really anti-dog, I am going to pile on to Nicole Stewart’s wonderful and gross blog about dog ownership and point out another less than ideal aspect of dog ownership.
Here are just a few examples:
Twelve years ago, my husband and I bought our first home. We made the leap from apartment living to a house with a yard and, in a fit of nesting, I bought a gorgeous hydrangea bush and planted it in the backyard. Weeks later, still under the influence of home-owning bliss, we got a puppy. Shortly thereafter, said puppy was discovered running circles around the yard with the entire bush in her mouth.
Years later, in an effort to have our home look a little more grown up and a lot less like a starter home decorated with items which had spent significant time in college apartments, we bought some new furniture and even had a designer help us put it all together. We invested in new leather sofas. One now has a three-inch rip in the back thanks to a few too many exuberant Labrador leaps.
I have a leather leash that I LOVE. It’s twelve years old and was purchased for our first (hydrangea-digging) puppy. Over the years, it has become worn-in and soft and comfortable, like an old baseball glove. Last year, I took our most recent puppy to the office with me and had him tethered to my chair with it. While I worked, he chewed happily on a bone. Or at least that’s what I thought he was doing, until I looked down to see had given up on the bone was about to take one last chomp to sever the leash. (PS – the shoe repair shop was able to put it back together!)
My daughters recently feel in love with toys called Calico Critters. They are not inexpensive, but my daughters decided to dip into their Christmas money to buy several of these fuzzy dolls. You know where this is going right? They weren’t in our house for a full 24 hours before they left them unattended on a low table and our dog decided that the fuzzy texture was irresistible. Oh, the tears….
I’m sure everyone reading is now thinking about a chewed shoe, ruined remote or soiled sofa cushion that their loyal canine companion is responsible for. Of course with training (“Leave It” and “Drop It” are key) and management (crates, gates and supervision) the destruction can be minimized, but I’m not sure I can think of a single dog owner who can honestly say that his or her dog never damaged anything. It’s just another thing that goes with the territory. They’re lucky they’re so cute.