|The Christmas that Bonny chewed up|
|Written by Rob Peecher|
|Wednesday, 17 December 2008|
It’s not a sign of the economic times that there are no Christmas presents under our tree this year. Rather, it’s a sign that we have a new member of the household who can’t be trusted with wrapped packages on the floor.
In May we added Bonny to our household. At the time, she was
a precious little yellow
Bonny is a good dog. She does all the things she’s expected to do. She sits and she shakes. She chases my wife’s cat and squirrels and desperately wants to get her teeth on a bird. She points and she barks at strangers and she looks at us with pathetic cuteness and wags her tail when we come home.
But of course she’s looking cute and wagging her tail when we come home: She’s trying to soften us up before we get in the house and see what she’s done.
Bonny likes to chew on sticks and wood. I’ve heard of dogs that do this but never actually owned one. She’s gotten better about it, but she remains destructive even with every chew toy imaginable at her disposal – from bouncy rubbery ones to rawhide crunchy ones to thick ones that look like branches to stuffed animals, we’ve gotten her every chew toy they make.
Bonny prefers to chew on things like the dining room table or the legs of the chairs. She’s chewed through the support braces on all of the chairs around the dining room table, and dinner for us is a wobbly balancing act where any unnecessary or exaggerated sliding in the chair could easily break what remains of the chair legs and send Jean, me or whichever of the unfortunate boys tumbling to the floor.
My only hope when it happens is that it happens to me or one of the boys (it won’t be funny if it happens to Jean) and that whoever it is takes their plate of food with them to maximize the humor.
Our hearts aren’t broken over the gradual gnawing away of the table and chairs – we’d long ago outgrown the table I bought for Jean when there were just three of us in the house. We’d planned to replace them soon and have put that off in the hopes that Bonny will outgrow this chewing stage (and if she doesn’t, metal chairs with no padding will work just fine).
Jean and I were both a little dubious about getting a Christmas tree this year. We knew that Bonny would assume the tree is just another in the assorted chew toys we’ve bought for her. And as Jean and the boys placed ornaments on the tree a couple of weeks ago, we were even more dubious.
We put the tree up on a Saturday evening. Sunday morning, while we were at church, I missed huge portions of the sermon as my mind wandered to the mess we would find when we got home. I envisioned the tree in pieces from one end of the house to the other – ornaments decorating the floor and Bonny happily chewing on the trunk.
She passed that first test – church apparently lasted about as long as her nap. On Monday, though, when we left her at home while we went to work, Bonny didn’t pull over the tree but she did knock down some ornaments. Apparently she reasoned, too, that if she brushed past the tree and ornaments fell on the ground then those ornaments would be fair game.
We came home to a crushed ‘Grinch that Stole Christmas’
ornament, a shattered glass ball ornament and, worse, shredded ornaments
Jean was heartsick over the loss of the ornaments that
A couple of days later, I convinced Jean that we should at least decorate the tree with the cheap colored ball ornaments – the tree seemed very naked with only lights. Jean relented and hung a few ornaments on the tree.
We came home next to find several of the glass balls shattered, so we removed the ones that were near the bottom of the tree.
Monday, Jean went home for lunch and called me when she got there. “I don’t think the tree is going to make it to Christmas,” she said.
“More ornaments missing?” I asked.
“She’s chewed a couple of branches off,” Jean reported.
I know that it is a part of the Christmas tradition that
children spend the weeks and days leading up to Christmas looking at the
wrapped packages under the tree, shaking them and trying to imagine what might
be inside. But this year there’s none of that for our boys. This year, Jean and
I are planning to get the gifts out of our closet (
“Here’s your Christmas – be glad the dog didn’t chew up your new iPod.”
Rob Peecher is editor of The Oconee Leader and the guy who cleans up broken ornaments and chewed up Christmas tree limbs every afternoon.
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