We’re starting a new blog series around here called Real Life and we couldn’t be more excited to share some of the behind-the-scenes moments that take place everyday that aren’t so pretty or blog-worthy. To kick off this new series I will be sharing a few real life moments that have taken place since purchasing our home and bringing home our first fur baby. Let’s just say this…Piper and I have something in common and that is our love and appreciation for textiles.
Three summers ago we had one of the busiest months of our lives. Two days after returning home from vacation in California we got in the car and drove four hours to pick up our first puppy. We brought her back to our current home (a loft in a small suburban downtown area) and after living there for a week, we packed up everything and moved into our first home. We like to joke and say that when big things happen in our lives they all happen at once. Hopefully this won’t be an on-going trend because it can definitely be stressful!
We quickly realized that our dog had severe separation anxiety and hated, I mean HATED, being in a crate. There were countless times we would put Piper in the crate, leave home for a few hours and come back to Piper waiting for us at the door. She would literally houdini out of her crate and we had no idea how. After countless tries we decided to start leaving her gated in three (pretty much) empty, unfinished rooms in our home instead.
For the first year of her life we had a pet sitter who came over during the day to feed her, let her out and spend some time with her while we were at work. I remember one day my brother went over because the sitter (his girlfriend) was unavailable. I remember coming home that night and going to reach for my scarf as we headed to the gym. This particular scarf always hung on a hook in our entryway and was no where to be found. I frantically looked in every place it could have been, then looked at Piper and thought to myself, “there’s no way”. After a quick text to my brother he confirmed that there was a scarf laying on the ground when he went over to let her out and he had confused it for a towel.
The next day we took Piper into the vet and they confirmed our suspicion: Piper had inhaled an entire scarf. They informed us that we brought her in at just the right time…if the scarf had started to enter her intestines she would have died. They kept her overnight and performed emergency surgery the next day. To this day that is the most expensive scarf I have ever owned. FYI – the scarf in the image above is the same one she ate. No, I did not keep it after they surgically removed it (although they did offer, ha!). My sweet husband sent an email to the company we purchased it from and told them the whole story and they kindly sent us a brand new one! How’s that for customer service?! “My dog ate it” typically isn’t a believable excuse.
Fast forward two years and Piper’s love for textiles has continued. We are on our third entryway rug because Piper chewed up the first two. Most recently she has chewed up our 8×10 dining room area rug, which we are looking to replace very soon. Never in a million years would I think I would say this because I am totally a shoe person, but why can’t she be a normal dog who chews up shoes instead of rugs? They are much cheaper to replace. See the photo below for evidence.
We have had numerous people ask us why we keep buying rugs if she is just going to continue chewing them up. The answer is simple. We have wood floors throughout our entire home and we need rugs to make it feel cozy and warm. Plus, I like when things feel finished and having all wood floors with no rugs really isn’t an option for us. I may be naive but I always convince myself that Piper is “through that phase” because she hasn’t chewed up anything in awhile…then she goes and proves me wrong- again.
In the meantime, here are a few things we have tried:
- Doggie cam: One of the best things we ever added to our home was the Logi Circle home security camera from our giveaway last summer. We turn this on every morning before leaving for work or anytime we are going out so we can keep an eye on the dog. I will admit – it is addicting! I love pulling it up during my lunch hour and spying on Piper. The nice thing about it is that you can talk to your pets, so if Piper is up to no good (like chewing on the rug again) I will say “Piper, NO!” and she immediately stops. I think it kinda freaks her out, but hey, it works!
- Bitter spray: I know some of you swear by this bitter apple spray and I have definitely had plenty of people suggest it for Piper’s problems, but we haven’t had as much success with it as I had hoped. I have tried spraying down all corners of the rugs we buy so she won’t chew on them, but overtime it wears off. I have had more success with actually spraying it in her mouth if she chews something up. Part of me feels like this is too harsh though and I hate doing it (she definitely hates it too).
- Space: We are now to the point where Piper has free reign of the house while we are gone – no crate, no gate, nothing. Our thought process in doing this was that maybe if she had more of the house to roam around in and a couch to lay on she might not be as bored and want to chew up everything around her. So far this has worked better, but has not completely kept her from chewing. I have always been anti-dog on the couch person, but I’ve kinda given up with Piper. She is such a snuggly bear and it’s so hard to say no. Plus, I would much rather have her laying on our couch then chewing up a rug. Vacuuming daily is a necessity around here because of it.
We are going to continue the hunt for a new rug, but meanwhile, what are some things you guys have tried for your pets who just love to chew? I would love to know if this has happened to anyone besides us!
So there you have it… our first “real life” post. Behind-the-scenes aren’t always so pretty and we totally deal with the annoyances of pets, renovating, and everyday mishaps. We might as well laugh about it together, because there has to be someone out there who can relate!