Originally created 01/30/05

Nothing is off limits for puppy's hungry rampages

Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.

ñ Henry Wheeler Shaw

I keep asking my wife why we're spending so much money on expensive and specially mixed puppy food, when it is obvious our little terrier terror has no problem eating everything else.

That luncheon list is growing.

In recent weeks , he's gnawed the oak trim off the first step of the staircase, four inches of floor molding in the foyer, every little rubber tip off every baseboard door stop and the varnish off the bottoms of most of the fancy dining room chairs.

He's chewed an inflated rubber football into rubber strips. He's chewed a full-size , inflated basketball into something that looks like a flattened pumpkin.

He's attacked the kitchen floor vinyl like a college freshman working over his first dorm-ordered pizza, and proceeded to chew up a square-foot patch, despite my defenses of duct tape and Clorox.

He has chomped the soles of many shoes, and has a thing for shoelaces, splitting the tips and grinding up the ends.

He has ripped the cuffs of two of my best suits and put bite rips in the sleeves of two of my oldest sweatshirts.

He shows the good sense to only occasionally nibble an electrical cord, although last week we discovered he had bitten some of those plastic safety plugs out of the electric sockets.

He's removed strips of wallpaper in three rooms and would have removed more except we only have wallpaper in three rooms.

He found a glass crystal chess set in the living room and made off with three pawns and a bishop, hiding them under various pieces of furniture after eating the plastic and felt bases glued to their bottoms.

He seriously damaged three wicker magazine holders. We consigned them to closets and began to stack the magazines on the living room coffee and end tables.

The little dog, a puppy not yet a year old, figured out how to jump up on the couch, then lean over and grab the magazines in his teeth, pulling them to the floor, where he leisurely ripped out the pages he found tasteful.

His appetite whetted by slick, colorful reproductions, he next went for the prize : the only book placed on the living room coffee table because it is the only book authored by the man of the house.

He started with the book jacket, then chewed up the spine, then gnawed off the corners.

"Did you know your dog ate your book?" my wife asks.

She asks this while I am stretched out on a den couch with the little dog curled up beside me with his head on my chest.

He will occasionally open his eyes, lick my chin, then go back to little terrier snores.

"I can always write another one," I tell her in a soft voice, so as not to disturb him.

"Probably on pet care."


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