Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Extreme Bedding

Bedding. It’s like an extreme sport for dogs and their guilt-ridden owners: I buy the beds, Rocket does what he wants with them—chew them, pee on them, tear, gnaw, and mutilate them. I buy more beds without correcting the chewing or the ‘dragging them around the house’ behaviors, he takes comfortable naps on his oversized chew toys anywhere he desires. This was our vicious cycle. I felt too exhausted to constantly correct him every single behavior. While it made for funny photos, it had to end.

I started by stopping. I stopped ignoring his chewing on the beds, and started correcting him gently. I stopped letting him nibble the corners (which he would try to sneak by hiding his face in the folds of the bed while gnawing at the zippers), and started giving him proper chew toys filled with food. Slowly, ever so slowly, one or two of the tattered beds remained in decent shape without further abuse. Those beds were going to have to be in dire straights before a fresh, new one appeared. My higher self and bank account said so.

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