Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In memory of things once chewed.

When I brought Dakota home, she was 5 weeks old and somewhere around 10 pounds.  Now she is almost 4 years old and pushing 100 pounds!  Our first 2 and 1/2 years were rough.  Dakota was mostly "South" and the only way to wear her out enough to sleep at night was to go kayaking at the lake or play fetch on the tennis courts for hours.  Things have changed.  She's getting older and bigger and wiser and "North-er".  Occasionally, I take all this "North Dakota" behavior for granted, I start thinking that all the "South Dakota" days are behind us.  That's when South Dakota sneaks back in to rip a limb off a tree in the backyard or waits patiently for me to walk away for 2 seconds so she can discreetly devour my blueberry muffin.  That's right, this morning, South Dakota stole my muffin right out of it's little bowl on the arm of the couch!  (I'm not quite sure how she got the muffin with out breaking the bowl, but that's neither here nor there.)

Dakota loved Gator when she was a puppy.  She slept with Gator.  She played with Gator.  She carried Gator everywhere. Then one day, alone in her crate while I was at work, she ate Gator.  By the time I got home, all that was left of poor Gator where his beady little eyes.  Gator was the first to fall victim to Dakota's mighty jaw and, sadly, he wasn't the last...

Some of the things Dakota chews are acceptable, albeit slightly odd: Big bones.  Grass.  Snowballs.  Ice cubes.  Crickets.  Firewood.  Avocado seeds.  Apple cores.  Carrots.  Lake algae.  Her paws.  Empty peanut butter jars.
But most of the things Dakota finds to destroy are NOT acceptable: Stuffed animals, her bed, pillows, old couches... anything with stuffing.  Toilet paper, books, magazines... anything she can rip to shreds.  Ink pens, batteries, vacuum cords... anything toxic.  Underwear, poop, trash... anything gross.  Bobby pins, paper clips, razors... anything small and sharp that could make her choke and die.  Money, picture frames, my leather journal... anything valuable.  And the list goes on.

There are a few things Dakota doesn't show much interest in chewing.  Surprisingly, she's never destroyed any of my shoes.  She likes to pick them up and carry them around, but they're still all in one piece.  And she didn't chew on Garrett when I had to put him in a box (because my apartment was too dangerous for a curious baby, not because I'm cruel).

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