When we go see my grandparents-in-law over the holidays, I look around their house in amazement. Dusty the Golden Retriever mix would never dream of touching the houseplants at eye level, or the dozens of knickknacks on low tables, or the magazines next to the couch. Dusty would never steal a throw pillow and try to hide it while he chewed all the corners off.
Silas has never been a genuinely destructive dog. You hear stories about dogs eating through sofas or that kind of thing, and Silas has never had it in him. (I did crate him when we weren’t home, until he was about nine months old, and separation anxiety is about the only anxiety he doesn’t have.) There are a few tooth marks on one of our dining room chairs, and a few more on one corner of the TV stand, but you would never look around our house and say, “Ahh, these people had a puppy recently.” I have books floor-to-ceiling, and not a one has seen the inside of a puppy mouth. In fact, one day in a stupid moment of desperation I gave him a magazine to tear up, and he (fortunately) looked at me like I was crazy.
Small, silent destruction is more his style.
Some things are just comically random. I can leave my shoes anywhere, and they’ll be there when I come back. This has been the case since basically forever. My husband’s shoes were fair game until very recently. Or, Silas will walk past the rug on the stair landing for three weeks, and then on day 22 he will become fascinated with it and have to carry it off.
Mostly we have a very good record with destruction because we’re tidy people. I learned early on what was and was not irresistible, and changed my housekeeping accordingly. The couch no longer has throw pillows, for instance, and we traded in the nice throws for cheap IKEA fleece. I have a series of places where I can put things out of his reach, and I know how to use them.
Every now and then he figures out my hidy-holes, though, and then trouble happens. He’s snitched one too many “wonderful” things off the dining room table, so now he knows to look there. Yesterday he learned about my favorite easy place–the top of his crate. I don’t know why he had never thought to look up there, but it has always been a great short-term storage spot. Until I put my knitting there while I helped my husband open a big package that had come in.
The good news is that Silas had no interest in the part with the needles, so he didn’t actually hurt anything. But he grabbed that ball of yarn and ran for his little life. Now that the bitterness of unknotting the skein has passed, it’s almost funny. Almost.
Does your dog leave things alone? Or are you sitting on the (nude) sofa with me?