Tag Archive | chew toys

Spring Break in Photos

Spring Break is almost over. It has been very quiet and casual, for the most part. Lots of sleeping in, hanging out in PJs and binge-watching Arrow and Sherlock, and quite a bit of knitting. Here are the highlights:

Lilac market bag in cotton/linen

Lilac market bag in cotton/linen

My new fabric remnants for purse linings

My new fabric remnants for purse linings

Impromptu lunch at Steak 'n' Shake

Impromptu lunch at Steak ‘n’ Shake

Puppies got bored

Puppies got bored

I hate to end on a bad note, but that’s life sometimes, right? Two books escaped with just a few small gouges, one lost the dust jacket but is still a good reading copy, one is readable if I don’t mind a big missing corner, and two were destroyed completely. Sigh. At least they ignored the first edition of Cold Mountain. I’m trying to remind myself that we’ve gotten really lucky. Since we got the second dog, Grace, six weeks ago, we’ve left the two pups out in the house while we’re gone and for the most part they’ve been really good. I have no idea what brought on this little chew-fest, but it’s enough to make me decide they can stay in the kitchen while we’re gone!

Happy Blog-iversary!

WordPress reminded me that a year ago today, I signed up for my blog and wrote my first post. Since then, I’ve written 179 posts and gained 154 fabulous followers. I’ve also found 115 blogs to follow, with so many delightful like-minded knitters and readers and nerds. I’m happy to be here, and I’m happy you’re all here too!

Now, on to the knitting. Alex and I spent the weekend in Lawrence and of course I had to go the Yarn Barn…twice. The first time, I just bought one lovely skein of Malabrigo worsted in blues and greens. Then we went to the bookstore and I found a book called Baby Beanies by Amanda Keeys. (This time I made sure the hats were knit in the round before I bought it.) With that, nothing would do but to go back to the Yarn Barn the next day and buy what I needed to make a hat. I came out with two skeins of soft acrylic/wool, Square circular needles and Square DPNs.IMG_1764I like the square needles but I’m not sure I notice I big difference. I do like the pointiness and the super-smooth finish. I also found these fun little socks and it was the last pair so of course I had to get them.IMG_1763They please me. It’s like I can have my secret superhero costume. That’s right, I am…Knitting Girl!

It wasn’t all knitting all weekend, of course. There’s also a great pet store, and we went in hoping to find something to prevent Grace from tearing the wood off the side of the house. Like any normal pet-owner, we found that and more. We got a bottle of bitter spray but we also bought a super Ruffhides chew toy. It’s made of really durable rubber and it has a tough Himalayan chew inside, but it’s designed so the dog can see and smell the chew but not chew on it! Hahaha! It drives them wild. My two puppies were going nuts trying to get to the chew…well, that and steal it from each other over and over. And guess what? They’ve been gnawing on it for hours and there’s no sign of any damage or wear. And these are dogs that can do this:IMG_1739I may never buy another brand of dog toy again.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go rest from my busy weekend and make some baby hats. Thanks for being part of my first blog year!

Life Tastes Good…and so does Cardboard

Today has been a quiet day. I’ve been knitting all morning, starting a new teddy bear. Max has been sleepy, as he usually is after his 3-4 hours of morning craziness. I’ve had a friendly, mellow buddy next to me.

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Then lunchtime came along. Max joined me in the kitchen, waiting for me to drop something. I thought he’d be disappointed when all I did was set aside the empty soda box, waiting to go out to the recycling. Nope. I should have known he’d think I put it there just for him. He retrieved it and carried it over to his towel.

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It was an interesting shape. It had some give when he bit it. I’m sure it smelled like his second favorite food (paper).

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I’m sure he was thinking, “Mom? Are you sure this is really okay?”

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“You’re safe, Mom. Nothing in there.” He snuffed and nibbled, chewed and tugged. This went on for quite a while. Then he started rolling around, tossing the box from side to side.

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I let him go on until he got a big chunk off and started eating it, then I had to take it away. Poor guy. At least he got a few minutes of fun.

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This cut is the deepest

When Max unrolled and ate the toilet paper, I laughed. When he destroyed toy after toy after toy, I smiled, cleaned up the mess and bought new toys. When he chewed up two of my Twilight figurines, I sighed and but again laughed at the sight of headless Bella. When he chewed into my yarn bag and ate part of my shawl, I kept my calm, swept up the mess and moved all knitting and crochet stuff out of his reach. But what we came home to tonight was the worst.

It looked like a battlefield coming in the door. He’d found a bag of dried apricots (kept at the back of the counter); all that was left was bits of the bag. He’d gotten into my daughter’s school bag and tossed her shirt across the room, chewed up part of her gym shorts, and eaten her Pop-tarts. That wasn’t the worst. No, the worst was the … I don’t even want to say it … the books.

I’m a book collector. My mom owned a used-book store when I was growing up and I worked with her for ten years, learning everything about collectible books. I’m also a reader, a fast and voracious reader. Those make for a substantial and really cool book collection. We have four 6′ tall bookcases in our dining room. They’re all hardbacks, and most are first editions with dust jackets. Some are valuable only to me, but many have monetary value too.

Now some of you might be hyperventilating right now (as I was as I came home) but rest assured, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. He only managed to pull out two books, and one is still salvageable.

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See those scratches across the front? Yeah, those weren’t there before. Now granted, this is not my favorite Dean Koontz book. I am a huge fan of Koontz, especially his early books, and I have a pretty thorough collection. The fact that he chose this one and not the signed first of Whispers or Strangers…well, that’s something to be grateful for. I guess. Whatever. But still. This is a pretty unusual title and a first edition. Not cool, Max.

So what was the other one? I couldn’t tell at first: the dust jacket had been torn from its protective plastic cover and both were in shreds. As I got closer, I saw the initials L E on the front of the book. I also love Louise Erdrich. I first read her in college and was obsessed with her books for a long time. One of my most treasured books is a near fine first edition of Love Medicine, her most famous book, and I was sure that was what Max had chewed up.

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Thank goodness, it wasn’t. It was The Blue Jay’s Dance, her memoir of early motherhood. Again, not my favorite of hers, but still, I really enjoyed this book. Not anymore.

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But it wasn’t really even which books got damaged that affected me. It was that they were Books. Books are part of me. They’ve always been a huge part of my life. I treat them with respect and reverence and love. They are vessels of joy and heartache and wonder and imagination. To see one destroyed like this…it hurts more than it should.

So I’m frustrated now. We were gone maybe an hour, and he had a number of toys to entertain him. He’d been fed. He’d already gotten two walks and two playtimes in the backyard. I don’t know what else to do with this dog except to shut him up in the kitchen or crate him when we’re gone. I didn’t want to have to resort to that but I don’t know what else to do. I love him, but I also love my belongings. I want us to be able to coexist peacefully. So how do I make that happen?

The dog ate my homework!

Well, he hasn’t eaten any homework *yet* but give it time: this dog is obsessed with paper. He’s been on several walks with us already and each time he’s found a used napkin, tissue, paper towel, candy wrapper, cigarette butt or something similar to consume. Sometimes I catch him in time to pull him away, sometimes I can get it out of his mouth, and sometimes he even drops it. And then of course sometimes he just chomps away and has a weird snack. Yesterday I left him alone for the first time. I was gone maybe an hour, to Costco to get him some food. I come home to find this:

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I laughed and cleaned it up…and decided to keep the bathroom door closed from now on! After lunch today, I grabbed a tissue from the box on the kitchen counter. You guessed it: there was a damp spot and two small holes in it. I have no idea why he decided to leave it in the box. Today, I went to vote, making sure the toilet paper wasn’t accessible. Oops, but my slipper was. It was still intact, but a bit dampish. So was the dust rag he’d found by the basement door, where it was waiting for a load of laundry. I’m glad neither of them suffered the fate of the rope toy that only survived about 8 hours:

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I took away the handle once he started tearing it apart to actually eat but the ball is one of his favorite toys now so I’ll let him keep it. Really, he’s much like a baby: it’s a darn good thing he’s cute! Still, if this is the worst that he does, I’m fine with it. Clearly he just gets lonely when we’re all gone. It’s a bit charming how he follows me everywhere I go. Even if I get off the couch just to get a drink, he’ll hop up from a nap and trot with me back and forth. It’ll probably get a bit annoying after a while, but it’s not yet. Neither are the muddy floors. And to be honest, I think the kids really *want* to go to school and truthfully say “The dog ate my homework!”

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“It’s exhausting being this cute!”