Thursday, March 09, 2006

Of Sticks and Gates

Everybody knows that dogs like sticks. We throw them, the dogs fetch them and bring them back. Cookie likes sticks as well. Not for fetching mind you, for chewing.

Not long after we first got Cookie we realised that he could probably climb up the wood pile in the back yard and leap over the fence. This led to the wood pile being de-piled into a broader, flatter mound:

The pile has provided Cookie with an excellent source of sticks, and logs, and bark and other forms of debris, that he can then gnaw and drop all over the place. In line with his penchant for chewing large bones, some of the logs he favours are quite massive:

Others are more your standard sort of stick:

Some can be quite small sticks, like my new carpenter's pencil that I inadvertantly left in a closed toolbox on a shelf that was apparently not quite out of Cookie reach:

Some sticks don't even have to be left lying around. In his efforts to gain illicit access to the house, the old gate fell victim to this. Cookie discovered that sticks can be made out of gate parts, if one is persistent enough, and if you have the right dental equipment. This is a picture of the old gate, following its decommissioning in favour of the new Colditz gate:

The gate was originally erected to keep toddlers from falling down the back steps, and, in hindsight, it lasted pretty well under the Cookie onslaught. These are the sticks Cookie created out of one of the bars:

In the photo of the gate (which is in the trailer on the way to the rubbish dump) you can see a couple of running repairs I did to replace the sticks Cookie made out of the bars on the gate - metal strapping. Sadly, while the strapping was chew-proof, Cookie figured out that he could squeeze between the straps and get in, so the whole thing was retired. If you look carefully, you can also see an amount of gnawing of the bottom cross-bar of the gate, where Cookie was trying an alternative way to tunnel in.

With the arrival of the new gate, Cookie was rather dissappointed to discover that all he can do now is peer in through the lattice-work at the side of the back porch:

Poor puppy!


At 12:59 PM, Blogger CM said...

Your site is very funny. I've enjoyed looking at all the things your sweeeeet puppy has chewed. When I was in high school we got two dalmations, and they were still puppies and they decided to chew on the rubber bumpers of my dad's 280 Z sportscar. They also demolished a pair of my dad's nice cowhide boots and some other things. Bad doggies! Right now we have a kitten who likes to chew on 500 dollar phone cords and power supplies for computer equipment. Wheee! And a 250 Bang & Oulfson headset wire. Oh well...

At 4:56 PM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

Thanks for the support! I've got lots more things lined up to post, but its hectic at work at the moment, so posting is very sporadic.


I once lived with two dalmations as well, many many years ago.

They were as thick as two short planks, but very affectionate. Don't remember them chewing things though.

Cookie has also chewed his share of power cables when he was still a little puppy with big feet and we had him in the house (it was winter here and too cold outside for him).

I recall coming into the kitchen once to hear a sort of intermmitent buzzing noise. I traced it down to a chewed power cord that was bitten through enough that the electricity was arcing between the wires every now and again. Very very lucky that it didn't start a fire.

These days he's more prone to chewing the entire plug off a cable. The most recent one was a string of low volt christmas lights that had not been put sufficiently out of reach.

Never found out what happened to the plug, and as a result had to throw the entire string out because there was no way to connect it to the transformer.

Ah well.

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Leetie said...

I've been looking into chew deterrants for my new puppy. There's a bitter apple spray that you can get at pet shops, the taste of which most dogs detest. If that doesn't work, try Vicks Vapo Rub or Mentholatum. For your really determined canines, it seems that a bit of cayenne pepper mixed with alcohol and water, painted on the stuff you don't want chewed works miraculously.

Best of luck to you, wys!

At 1:01 AM, Blogger neophyte said...

look at that sweet face!! awww, poor baby!

and cm, my cats just discovered the power cord to my new iPod. (bad kitties!) Mind you, they don't chew anything else.

I'm thinking of all the splinters that Cookie must have in his belly!

At 8:43 AM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

Leets, tried all that. My conclusion: too much effort, too little result.

In fact, as I'll post in due course, the specific anti-chew spray stuff from the pet store seemed to attract Cookie - and I have a photo of the chewed chair leg to prove it.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Dear wys,

I just dropped my chocolate lab, Ria, off at O'Hare Airport's Qantas terminal. She will arrive at your house sometime tomorrow, give or take an International Time Zone day or two.

She will enjoy romping and chewing with Cookie. She will also enjoy teaching him how to dig an Olympic-size mud puddle.

You're welcome.

At 1:13 AM, Blogger neophyte said...

Time for a new Cookie story, Wysi! :)

At 9:34 AM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

Indeed, but my work computer was "refreshed" last weekend and because I was off sick and hadn't saved my stuff off, all the Cookie photos I had lined up to post have been deleted.

Which in turn means I have to bring the camera back into work, assuming of course the USB drive still works with the new operating system build.

I mean really, you'd be tempted to start to think they want me to use this computer for WORK ro something. Sheesh.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger DonnaJo said...

Is "Cookie" Oz for "Kujo"?

At 6:29 PM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

Sly: no, but it ought to be.


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