About two weeks ago, my mother asked me to keep an eye on their dog, Henry, for 10 minutes while she talked with one of my father’s customers. Easy enough, right?
Henry is a 10 month old yellow Labrador retriever who is lazy as all get out, but has spunk. He is the exact opposite of prideful and smart Simon, my parents previous lab. He likes to cause havoc in my parents household, and it’s both entertaining and just what they need.
In ten minutes, Henry stole one of my father’s shoes, had a serious case of the Zoomies, ate half a roll of toilet paper, drank from the toilet, and tried to eat my cell phone. I could only sit and laugh at the situation, and be grateful that I no longer had to deal with a spunky, energetic puppy.
Dunkin was deprived of his puppyhood. He was left outside, neglected, for almost his entire first year of existence. So I was the lucky one that got to experience a eight-week old puppy trapped in a 13-month old dog.
Once Dunkin official became mine, he suddenly became the eater of all things.
At first, he was discreet in his eating. Being small, he could fit many places while we were at work and eat whatever it was he desired. Things started disappearing.
It wasn’t until he became more daring in his eating expeditions did we realize the fate of the missing things. Remotes were first. Then he moved on to magazines and books. Once he was bored with those, he developed a fetish for sofa cushions and pillows.
I came home one afternoon from work, expecting to find my new little dog behaving. Before leaving that morning, I had taken away anything edible and left him in a room with a television, table, couch and a love seat. I was tired of picking up explosions of plastic and paper. Being proactive gave me hope that I’d catch a break.
It looked like it snowed it my living room. The couch had exploded. Or at least that’s what it looked like. Dunkin had mauled both of the large back pillow/cushions on the love seat. After assessing the damages, I got down to his level, stared him down and saw the mischievous glint in his happy brown eyes.
He was having a blast.
The next day, he was gated into the dining room. I put his bed in there and a few toys so he’d be occupied, and that was it except for the dining room table. Fool proof. Right?
After work, I walked into the dining room and found myself laughing uncontrollably. He ate a hole in the antique rug that was under the table. I thought I would surely lose my mind and find myself in a padded cell with a straight jacket.
When talking about Dunkin’s behavior, the first thing people would always tell me was that he wasn’t exercised enough. I could hardly call a daily five-mile run, 20 minutes of catch each afternoon outside and endless half-mile walks down to the store on the corner a lack of exercise. I knew he was a high energy dog from day one, and that’s why I though he’d be a perfect addition to my life because I’m just as high energy.
He couldn’t be bored. He was a pretty aggressive chewer, so I’d leave him with toys and treats that would keep him occupied for four hours at a time.
It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that A) he was just living his puppy crazy phase late in life because he was basically denied it when he really was a puppy and, B) he was a spiteful little punk sometimes. If he was mad at you, he’d go pee on your shoes. You left him alone for a few hours? He’s going to eat something.
Thankfully, the chewing finally came to an end about four months after he became mine. It was pretty trying at times, but we both got through it and survived just fine. At least I have a good enough sense of humor that I could laugh about it not only then, but now as well.