Friday, June 29, 2012

I Can't Have Nice Things

I talk a lot about my two little girls. I can go on and on about all the crazy, silly, lovely ways they make my life interesting. I've been working on a blog the last few days about some of their antics. I was having a hard time keeping my thoughts straight and it just wasn't coming out right. I took that as a sign that I should stop writing about that topic and think of another story. I wasn't sure what I would write about next and it has been on my mind all day. Luckily, my other children, the four legged variety, came to my rescue with an excellent story. This is about Bailey Grace (the pit bull) and Malcolm Reynolds (the doberman pinscher).


This evening, we went out to dinner with my in-laws before they head up to Massachusetts for the week. I had my phone in my back pocket and decided at the last moment to leave it at home. I didn't think I needed it and we were only going to be away for an hour or so. I placed it in the middle of the kitchen table on the way out the door. It's 104 degrees in Georgia so we let the dogs stay inside while we were gone. (Usually they hang out in the fenced in backyard and run around while we are away from the house.) The dogs are always getting into things and chewing stuff. We could fill the house to the brim with raw hides and nylabones and they would still find something to destroy. Before we leave the house, I make sure to close all the bedroom doors and pick up EVERYTHING off the floor or within their reach. I never had to baby-proof the house, but damn it, I've dog-proofed the house. 

After dinner, we came home to two happy pups. Both dogs ran to the door and gave us a warm welcome. I looked around the corner and noticed a bunch of black plastic pieces all over the floor. Bailey pulled the black extension tube off the vacuum cleaner a few days ago and chewed it to bits, so my first thought was she had somehow found leftover pieces of the tube and snacked on that. The Hub walked over and picked up a small silver square from the wreckage. It was a cell phone battery. My cell phone battery. The rest of the phone was no where in sight. 

Bailey ate my phone.

I went into a frantic search for the rest of the phone. I had visions of x-rays and emergency vet bills dancing in my head. I finally found the rest of my phone, slightly chewed, but still intact. The back cover and the battery were beyond repair. I was relieved that Bailey did not actually ingest my phone, but I'm still pretty ticked that I'm without a phone until whenever I can get to a T-mobile store.

My phone... or what's left of my phone.

What baffles me is how she got the phone in the first place. She's a squat little dog. The kitchen table benches were pushed in so she could not have reached the phone. That's when I turned to Malcolm and asked him, "Did you do this?" He smiled. If guilty, Malcolm will show his teeth. If not guilty, he will just look at you. My theory is that Malcolm knocked the phone off the table and Bailey took off with it.

This is a dobie smile (Not Malcolm)
Photo Credit -

I'm mad but I'm not surprised. So far, in the year since we rescued Bailey and Malcolm, they have snacked on the following:

  • The outside cable line for our TV and internet
  • The wooden handle off The Hub's rubber mallet
  • 2 pairs of S's pj bottoms
  • 4 hand towels (Malcolm actually ate these and passed them.)
  • The downspout from the gutter
  • The screen door to our porch
  • 10 pairs of my underwear 
  • 3 barbie heads
  • The Hub's phone charger cord
  • The kitchen table bench leg
  • A 24 count box of crayons 
  • Several pieces of S's art work
  • Malcolm's Thunder Shirt 
  • A pair of The Hub's "yard work" shoes
  • A radio electrical cord
  • An electrical extension cord
  • A straw broom
  • A mop head
  • Their own food bowl after they ate their kibble
  • Dog shampoo bottle
  • Plastic cups
  • Hair scrunchies
  • Mardi Gras beads
  • A beer can
  • B's sippy cup lids
  • All the sod in our backyard

That's all I can remember at this point. This does not include the non-chewing damage. I've had to shampoo the carpet numerous times after they mud wrestled in our sod-free yard and rushed through the door before I could wipe them down. 

Every dog behavioral book I read suggests that their destructive behavior is due to boredom. Really? Really?! My family and I play with Bailey and Malcolm all the time. I've bought chew toys and bones. We toss the tennis ball until the dogs drop from exhaustion. There are times when I want to drop from exhaustion after a good play time. They get cuddles and hugs all the time. The Hub wrestles with the pups everyday after work and on the weekends. 

Bailey will be a year old in July so she's still considered a puppy. Puppies chew... a lot. The pound estimated that Malcolm is about two years old. He has severe separation anxiety and stress eats. No matter how hard I try to keep things out of their reach, they always seem to find things to munch on. We don't leave them alone very often. Sometimes they destroy things behind the couch while we are in the same room. It only takes a few minutes. I know we have been extremely lucky that we haven't had to take either one of them to the vet because of their eating habits. I knock on wood every day. Every single day.

But, why do you keep these demon dogs?!

I'm a glutton for punishment? Possibly. Both dogs are very sweet. Both beasts think they are small enough to be lap dogs. (Bailey is 60 lbs and Malcolm is 80 lbs.) Both pups adore my girls and will lay down with them if they are sad or sick. The most vicious thing about Bailey is her tongue. The most vicious thing about Malcolm is his gas. They have funny personalities and like to play games. Bailey is protective of her human sisters and keeps an eye on them. Malcolm will wake from a sound sleep at 3 AM to check out a strange noise. He won't settle down until he makes his rounds through the house and checks on everyone in their beds. They are always happy to see us, even if we just left the room, only to return a minute later. They are always up for hugs and kisses. Right now, Bailey is under my desk, laying on my feet. Malcolm is laying down right behind my chair. They never interrupt me while I'm working... which is more than I can say about my human kids. Every time my dogs destroy something, I have to remind myself that it was probably my fault that they got a hold of whatever it was that they destroyed. I probably need to get more chew toys. Durable chew toys. The simple fact is, Bailey and Malcolm love us. They are monsters, but they love us. 

And, I love them.

Malcolm Reynolds and Bailey Grace

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