I have a big, goofy, lovable, 100 lb. doberman. He is nothing like people imagine when they are presented with the word DOBERMAN. Actually, anyone, that knows anything about this breed of dog, would know that those stories just aren’t true. How did they get a bad name? Namely movies, but it could be because they do have one trait, the fact that they will lay down their life for their “family”, that may help give this negative image of this breed.
Anyway, one little problem with my doberman….he does get a little anxious when we leave him alone. When he was a puppy, he would chew everything up (like a typical puppy), so we were smart about it and kept him in a kennel when we weren’t home. Over time he outgrew that, and we were able to retire the kennel. He did great for about a year. Then it started back up. A piece of paper here, a piece of paper there. Until, one day my husband noticed a trend. If the last person to leave the house for the day walked out without saying anything to the dog, nothing would get torn up. If the dog was talked to (doesn’t everyone say goodbye to their dogs like they are family members?), then he would tear something up. It seemed saying anything was code for “we are leaving you forever….go to town”, whereas not saying goodbye was more like “running outside for a minute, but will be right back in”. So we stopped talking to the dog before leaving, and kept everything picked up out of his reach. It was working. And then it wasn’t. He started venturing upstairs to the kids territory. Goodbye books.
So in an effort to keep from bringing the monstrous kennel back into our living space (remember, he’s a BIG dog), we put a baby gate up on the stairs to keep him downstairs, and started keeping everything picked up downstairs….namely paper. Again, that was working (for a while). Then last night we discovered another glitch in the plan. After being good for nine hours while everyone was at school and work, I had to leave again to take my kids to gymnastics. We were gone for one hour and 30 minutes. I guess he hates when we leave a second time after doing his nine hour stretch. We came home to a shredded text book. My daughter swore it was in her backpack and it was zipped up. Oh, is he now venturing into trying to find things? He also chewed up a brush that was “put up high”. I watched Virginia put it up. So now he is putting effort into his revenge. Sadly, I guess this means this is the end of his free-reign in the house.
So far…things my dogs has eaten include (over the course of his life, not just recently, and in no particular order):
- Tubes of Toothpaste (2)
- A loaf of bread
- Several toys – I don’t even recall what they were
- Numerous, numerous, numerous receipts
- Hairbrushes (2)
- Grapes (yes they are poisonous to dogs)
- Dog Beds (3)
- Several towels (used in the kennel to replace the dog beds)
- Boxes of Tissues (several)
- A Pillow
- A Pair of Shoes – they were uncomfortable, so I forgave that one
- A digital thermometer
- A notebook – actually several
- My daughter’s homework – yes this really does happen
- A Leather-Bound Alice in Wonderland Book
- Carpet (yes, wall-to-wall carpet) – that was expensive to replace, since we had to buy it for the whole room
- A cable remote – luckily the cable company replaced it for free
- A Cell Phone – $50 to replace…only because of the insurance
- A Bose Stereo Remote – $88 to replace
- A Social Studies Text Book – $50 to replace
- My Prozac – I bet that one made him feel good….maybe I should get him his own prescription and he won’t have so much separation anxiety.
I think that just about sums it up. Yep, I truly love my dog, but it’s time to bring the freaking kennel back in.