Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hi. My name is Jamie and I am a ChewAholic...

In no time at all Jamie took over the house and garden. Everything new had to be tasted and shredded: Furniture, cushions, clothes, carpets, files, books, plants, fingers and toes.

But I nearly had a heart attack when he began chewing all the cables and wiring behind my office desk. I had visions of sparks flying and one electrocuted puppy!

In my panic, I pulled the desk back in order to put all the wiring on top. But simultaneously smashed a glass framed picture and dropped my lunch onto the floor. I desperately had to get Jamie out of this danger zone while I sorted out the mess. I remember being on my knees weeping with fatigue and fright as I tried to restore order to my working environment. First he had taken over my bedroom, now he was causing mayhem in my office!

In order to save costs (puppies are very, very expensive excluding the hidden costs that also take their pound of flesh) I had decided to give him old shoes to chew on.

Big mistake! A puppy cannot distinguish between old and new shoes. So out with the shoes and in with the rawhide chews. I was recounting this story to my breeder who reacted with horror. "Oh no, rawhide chews can give your pup diarrhea!" she said.
She used to give her litters these chews. But they routinely developed loose bowels. The vet told her that because these chews were made from organic matter, it was possible for bacteria to grow on them. She experimented and found that the moment she took the chews away, the diarrhea stopped.

So then I bought these very expensive hollow rubber chews in which you can stuff treats. Jamie eats the treats alright but is not interested in chewing the chew. What can I say, every dog has its own preferences.

Now I use tennis balls and empty plastic bottles with stones in them for noise effect. But I bet somebody is going to tell me that plastic is bad for my dog.

And I am constantly dabbing tea tree oil on the things he shouldn't chew. They say you must never have constant tug of wars with your pup where he thinks that you are always taking away his nice things. This can make him defensive and bite later on. So you try to distract him with something else equally interesting and gently remove the object he is destroying. But try finding something interesting to give him when he has grabbed hold of of your dress and is tearing a jagged hole in it!

I am going to have to send him to ChewAholics Anonymous.

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