Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oh, That Dog . . .

Now, I know you’re all going to laugh at me for this… because it’s a well-known fact that I may have the most pampered, loved and spoiled dog in existence. But I feel this nagging guilt about the fact that he doesn’t actually get to be a dog.

You know, he doesn’t get to go on walks and pee on the grass and romp with other dogs. He’s got all this pent-up energy that can’t be run off in the confines of my little condo, which regrettably results in his insatiable desire to mark in the kitchen. Then there’s the fact he’s so hyper-sensitive to my not feeling well that he, instead of me, is on anti-depressants.

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As is evidenced in the above photo, he has so morphed into thinking he’s human that he often sits up on the couch like this, mimicking the stature of the rest of us [while demanding belly rubs, of course].

Yep, I’m always trying to think of ways to make him happier as a dog.

I discovered early-on in Riley’s puppyhood that he is what they call an “aggressive chewer.” It wasn’t hard to figure out when I came home one day to discover he’d chewed a 2-inch deep hole in my wall. Not the corner, mind you, where he could get a good angle on it. No… he took his front teeth and gnawed right through the flat drywall.

And then I learned how to spackle.

I tried giving him rawhide bones, only to find out they were too easy for him to chew apart. He would swallow such large chunks of them that he would end up making himself sick. Which required my clean up. Which put an end to the rawhide bones.

Recently, however, I read that compressed rawhide bones were made especially for aggressive chewers… that they couldn’t swallow big pieces and were great to gnaw on and get out that extra pent-up energy. So I ordered them and we gave them a try.

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Oh, was Riley a happy dog.

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That bone was chewed on front, back and sideways.

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He worked and worked until he whittled it down to tiny little pieces.

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And then I found out my dog actually has dog instincts! He took those tiny little leftover pieces and dug at my furniture like he was digging a dirt hole in the backyard trying to reach China. He’d root in the crevices of pillows and couch cushions and bury his little bone pieces like they were treasures to be cherished.

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And then he would come running over to me, whining for me to follow him, until I would get up and he’d show me his handiwork. Then he’d promptly pounce on his treasure and re-hide them somewhere else… after realizing he’d let his secret hiding place slip.

To say it was entertaining would be an understatement.

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Now, still being more human than dog… and after almost six years of training me into submission… he decided to finish this little game by bringing me the small pieces to hold for him while he chewed on each and every last bit of them. They were too small for him to grip in his paws, so he’d lay them in my hands and wait for me to hold them for him … content to chew away.

This past Wednesday I made the mistake of not paying attention while holding onto the small piece of bone. And when my aggressive chewer bit down into the rawhide to rip it apart, he instead ripped apart my thumb.

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Ouch.

He chomped down and his tooth went all the way through my thumbnail, cracked the nail upward and sideways, and punctured so deep into my thumb that the pressure split a hole all the way at the top, meaty part of thumb as well.

It hurt. And OH MY WORD did it bleed.

And it was at that point I realized how absolutely abnormal my life has become when I didn’t even yell, cry, wince or react. I simply pulled my thumb from his mouth [said a swear word I won’t mention here… uttered more incredulously than dramatically] and started cleaning it up. My mom happened to call shortly afterward and she held her breath as I started the conversation with, “You will not believe what I just did…”

It took me a day to decide if I should laugh or cry on top of everything else that’s happening right now… and decided I would just call it an added insult to injury. :) But in the grand scheme of things it isn’t really anything more than a nuisance. It’s clear every time I try to use my thumb to hit the space bar, however, that the universe is really trying to teach me patience!

But at least I can say … it’s never boring around here

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Yes, peeps. This is the innocent face that punctured a hole in my thumb.

Considering he is faithfully by my side 24/7 with that endearing look, it took all of 3.2 seconds to forgive him.

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But not even this look is going to get me to hold a bone for him ever again. I may be a well-trained pushover, people, but I’m not stupid…

50 comments:

  1. Ohhhhh ... ouch!!!! but with a face like that ... he makes me laugh every time you show a photo of him. May your injury heal quickly and your little doggie learn not to "thumb chomp."

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  2. My stomach flipped over when I saw your thumb. This might help....I got a pedicure yesterday. I'd ripped my big toe nail below where it attaches on the right side. The manicurist (or pedicurist) put a dab of nail glue on the split nail. I'm guessing that will hold it together until it grows back out.

    Riley's Life looks pretty special to me. :-) Tell him I took our old black Lab to the creek today. He couldn't get out. First time ever. Had to howl until my husband could help him. Coop says life on the outside doesn't thrill him that much anymore.

    Recent undefined:=- Oh no! Comluv had an error with your feed, see message below!

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  3. are you kidding me? riley is a DOG??

    Recent blog:=- What Did We Do?

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  4. I was going to say, I need to find those kinds of bones for my two, but if that is what happens, I think not! Oh, I am sure that hurts like no other!!

    Sophie and Dora chew up the regular raw hide bones like they are candy, and hide them just like Riley....

    He looks like he is sad he hurt you! ;)

    Recent blog:=- Beginner Quilting Class: Second To The Last Class

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  5. Sarah, my thumb is throbbing just looking at the picture. I hope that you took everyone's(Facebook)
    comments, and called the doctor or the home nurse.

    Ha-ha, George sits like that too!

    Recent blog:=- Here's Your Stupid Sign Saturday

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  6. What I am so amazed with is the fact that you can take a horrible, painful story, and turn it into something totally funny and entertaining for the rest of us! One more illustration of how amazing you are as a writer and a person.

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  7. Owie!! Its everything it was billed to be =-O Nolan said to tell you he knows Riley didn't mean to. I told him you were not mad at him... and yes, Nolan was a biter when he was little so he can fully empathize with Riley ;)

    That first picture of Riley is seriously my new favorite!! I hope your thumb is healing and that the rest of you is gaining strength and energy as well! It was fun getting a Saturday post from you!

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  8. Okay so I am reading along and thinking that this story reminds me of my dog and then I get to the part about you holding the bone pieces. I am laughing because I used to do that for my pup too. I was thinking to myself that I hoped you (unlike me) kept your thumb out of the way though - when I discover that the SAME thing that happened to me about 7 years ago happened to you!! You have my total sympathy, it really hurts! A lot!! And if that did not even bother you compared to all the pain you are in than you are truly amazing for putting up with that level of pain everyday. Thanks for sharing Riley with us - he makes me smile and miss my pup a little less. :)

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  9. Owie! :'( I sure hope that heals up good for you...I just love that little guy you have!

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  10. wait.....Riley is a dog?!

    Just kidding! Look at him! He loves it!

    Your poor nail! OUCH!

    Recent blog:=- Gobs of Giveaways!

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  11. Good plan! He's so cute :)

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  12. Wow - that looks worse than I imagined! So funny to read this post b/c just today we saw a dog here at the campground that looked like Riley and Mark and I commented on it. I said, "Wouldn't it be fun for Riley if he could come here with us..." and just as the words came from my mouth, Mark immediately said, "There aren't enough anti-depressants in the world to reduce the anxiety that he would have here!!" And I said, "No sh**!" There are so many people here and there are horses, bicycles, music...did I mention people - it's total chaos. I think Riley is pretty happy inside with you; chewing on his bones (and your thumb)! Miss ya! :'(

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  13. Oh my word OUCH! I cannot believe you didn't cry, although I am proud of you "venting" on FB. That looks incredibly painful. How are you typing? I have some dog-walkers who would LOVE to get their hands on Riley and then we could blow dry the outside air off of him before he came back inside around you. Would that work?

    Continuing to pray for you!

    Recent blog:=- A Good Word ...

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  14. I'm so sorry! I know you love your little mutt (well, actually, he's a pure bred, right?) but I think more than a swear word would have escaped my being!!

    >:o

    :-[

    Thinking of you this morning and praying for you.

    Love you, Gitz!

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  15. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeJuly 12, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Oh for the love...that's a bad place to have a bite...once a squirrel bit through my thumbnail. It was so painful and the Dr removed my entire nail!!!
    This whole post was just about too cute for me to stand though with all those pictures of the adorable little fluff.

    Recent blog:=- Foodie Friday & Christmas in July?!?!?!?

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  16. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeJuly 12, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Oh for the love...that's a bad place to have a bite...once a squirrel bit through my thumbnail. It was so painful and the Dr removed my entire nail!!!
    This whole post was just about too cute for me to stand though with all those pictures of the adorable little fluff.

    Recent blog:=- Foodie Friday & Christmas in July?!?!?!?

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  17. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, OUCH!!!! Oh, and did I mention OUCH?!?!?!?! Man, that hurts just looking at it! Ouch........

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  18. Oh dear! Well, at least you know if someone tries to break into your place your little one is more than capable of chewing his leg off!

    Hope your finger heals sooner rather than later.

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  19. I LOVE Riley! I love Riley stories. However, I am really sorry about your thumb! That's terrible! It must be really boney. Who can blame him for wanting to try it? ;)

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  20. Oh Sweet Girl!
    Riley cracks me up! I am sure he is related to my Diesel!
    So sorry about your thumb. I hope it heals extra fast!

    Recent blog:=- The Simple Woman's Daybook - July 13, 2009

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  21. OUCH! That had to be painful. I can't believe Riley would be capable of chewing so hard. After viewing the photos, though, it is hard to stay mad at him too long. I hope your thumb heals quickly.

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  22. Ouch, ouch! I know these compressed rawhide bones make him happy, but please be careful since they can cause blockages. Rawhide is rawhide.

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  23. he is one expressive little dude, isn't he? :)

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  24. Oh, you're poor pup! I like to just pretend Riley will never get old...

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  25. seriously, sheryl, this might be the first time I can type LOL and mean it :)

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  26. oh, the bones are great... you just have to be smart enough not to HOLD them for the dog...

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  27. isn't that funny to see them sitting like humans? they are such funny little animals...

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  28. well, if i had to decide it was funny because the only other option was that it was going to push me over the edge... =-O

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  29. honestly, the minute i took that photo i was almost giddy i captured that expression. he's such a little flirt.

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  30. i can't believe that happened to you, too!!! i can tell you, it won't happen to me twice. :) and yes, sadly, it barely registered on the pain scale... it more than registered on my frustration scale, though ;)

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  31. i like the stinker quite a bit, too... bites and all...

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  32. i know... i have to remind myself that he's not human sometimes, too... although i think he's much smarter than i even give him credit for...

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  33. yeah I have a JR in an apartment. I've learned to spackle also and had accidental bites on my hands.

    Recent blog:=- Meatless Monday

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  34. I'm with Mark... Riley's head would implode! He'd either bark at everything or curl up next to you and not even get on the grass. :) I had a 5 hour episode yesterday morning and he got so freaked out by me being in pain and not letting him touch me that he started throwing up. I think bikes and animals and kids would give him a heart attack!

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  35. you know, i never spontaneously vent like that, and i felt so bad afterward that i got people so worried over my stupid thumb. i always have the urge to vent, but then i have too big of an urge to reassure people afterward :) i'm weird that way, i guess!

    as for typing... i'm trying to use my pointer finger to hit the space bar, but when i forget it stings a little :)

    i think he could go outside if he was washed off afterward, but i can't imagine him letting anyone but me do that. his anxiety level rises pretty quickly when i'm out of sight.

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  36. he is a pure bred, but he acts like a mutt sometimes :) if it makes you feel any better, it was a pretty serious swear word =-X

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  37. Woah... hold on a minute... how in the love of all things holy did you manage to get bit through the nail by a SQUIRREL?!?!?! I'm assuming you weren't holding a nut for it to chew on like I was the bone??? :-P

    And, for the record, i was thinking of you when I put up those last two photos... i knew you'd love them :*

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  38. yeah, it was a definite ouch - but it's fine as long as I keep it bandaged to give it some cushion. [I can't wait to see if logging you in worked and if you get this comment response in your inbox...]

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  39. aww... it's not so bad in the grand scheme of things :)

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  40. now that i knew already... one time the mayor of our town came to my door [he lived in my building for awhile] and Riley tried to bite him. it was a proud moment....

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  41. ha!!! if there's one thing I'm not right now, it's boney... these steroids have put plenty of cushion on my bones...

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  42. he cracks me up regularly, too... certainly keeps life interesting [as if we needed help in that department]! :-P

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  43. hey, deb... at least now you have fair warning not to hold a bone for him when you're here for faith sharing :-[

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  44. i wondered about that, too... if they would be as bad as the others. so far he hasn't gotten sick or anything, and i'm throwing away the little pieces he breaks off to make sure he doesn't swallow to big of a chunk. they have been nice to keep him occupied while i've been more immobile, so i'm hoping they keep working for him.

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  45. i had never heard of a dog chewing on a wall before i got Riley, but apparently it's not all that uncommon. this pup has taught me all sorts of things :)

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  46. Hey friend...your thumb looks terrible....hope it's healing quickly. I've been on vacation and hoped to come back to hear you're back on the mend.....so disappointed and yet rebounding at your spritely, positive and happy posts and responses!! Sending you and the mohawk dude our love!
    ~Cynthia

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  47. That's because you're... well, there's no other way to say this... a
    bad-ass. Immune to pain... basically a super-hero. :)
    Maybe not immune, but you're sooooo not the wimp I am!!

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  48. how fun that you were on vacation... hope you had a great time and were able to enjoy yourself! physically things have gotten worse here... I'm working on an update post for later in the week... but luckily i have riley to always help keep my mind diverted... even if it does take biting through my thumb to do it :-P

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  49. roflol! He's a dog in a million!

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