Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Apple Does The Worst Thing

About an hour ago, I woke up to find that the day I once feared had finally come. Apple had done the worst thing. After nearly 8 months of chewing various items, he had finally chewed a hole in the couch.

No sign necessary for this "Dog Shaming"
 I will admit that, for a while, I wondered if I should just continue about my blog posting and do the book review of Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, as I had originally planned. But that can wait for another day, because right now I don't feel really loving. And the truth is, what kind of writer would I be if I only operated in this "I'm great, my dog is great" world? The TRUTH is, that my dog is often not great. He has done some very bad things, and I recognize my failings as a Dog Mom in those bad things, and we have to learn from our mistakes, forgive, and move on.

The reason that chewing a hole in the couch is "the worst thing" to me is because I have used it as the "benchmark of badness" since the day we brought Apple home. I would say things like, "Oh, he has been chewing the chair legs, but at least he hasn't chewed up our couch." Pretty much every bad thing he has ever done I rationalized by telling myself that it was okay as long as he didn't eat the couch. 

Here is a quick list of some of the things Apple has destroyed and/or eaten:
TV remote
Wireless headphones (Steven's "worst thing")
7-8 pairs of shoes
Many toys, most notably a jump rope, which he ate
A sock, which luckily came out just fine
Water bottle tops
Boxes of tissues
A hole in the wall (Fixable! That's why it's not the worst thing. You can't even tell.)
Corners of the rug

Now, I feel like the Dog Mom of the century. I know that there are things I could have done to prevent some of these potentially dangerous situations. The number one thing that I have probably done wrong is that I never crate trained Apple. But the thing is, have you seen my dog? He is huge. I live in an apartment. I honestly do not have much space for a giant crate around here. A crate that big would easily be about $200, and that wasn't an expense my husband and I felt we should spare. And ultimately, I know everyone says dogs like it, but I can't imagine putting Apple in box he can hardly move in for hours. Instead, we opted for the baby fence in the hallway for times when we need to box him in:

Look how sad he is! Would you crate him?

 I would love to keep this fence in that hallway forever, but it keeps falling out of the wall. Stupid drywall.

The main thing that keeps Apple or any dog like him from being destructive is proper exercise and appropriate things for chewing. When he chews things like the couch, it is often because one or both of these things is lacking. I should have put out another rawhide bone for him last night. I should have exercised him more yesterday, but the cold weather makes it difficult. I am finally coming to terms that I was not meant to ever live anywhere North of here. Unfortunately, the cold weather makes my husband and I want to snuggle under 50 blankets and never leave the house, while our Canadian dog wants to play even harder when the temperatures get low.

Luckily, I can just hide the couch arm with that cover thing. I'll sew it on, and hopefully Apple has been punished sufficiently so that he will not go for it again. 

See? Good as new.
Ultimately, I just need to take my own advice that I often give to Steven and learn to forgive Apple. He knows he's in trouble...He is just lying around and staying away from me even though he is usually very active at this time. Hopefully, we will all be able to move on...and the couch will remain intact.

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