Thursday, September 16, 2010

Teething pains

I’ve never had a dog before – like, as my own as an adult.  We had them in droves when I was a child, along with a slew of cats and various small critters.  Yet, somehow, I managed to not know a darn thing about the trials and tribulations of a teething puppy!  How did I miss this, even as a kid?  

Riley is in full-on teething mode.  She’d had a few days when you could tell her mouth was bothering her, but nothing like this week.  I was starting to think she was just a demon dog and that I’d made a horrid, horrid mistake by selecting her – or even wanting a dog AT ALL.  Then Sunday, I came home with a new small, bone-shaped rawhide to help with the teething.  

This isn’t because I realized she was in pain or anything.  No, nothing that sympathetic or motherly.  I brought the bone home in the hope that 1) she wouldn’t eat it as quickly as the spiral-style rawhides and 2) that she’s stop destroying my sh*t!  Last week, she managed to chew her way down the length of the wooden window ledge behind the couch in the front room.  It pissed me off to NO end.  This isn’t because it’s unfixable.  It’s wood; it’s totally fixable.  It’s because it will be a HASSLE to fix!  Then Sunday morning, she chewed through my laptop charging cable in about 30 seconds.  My laptop is unusable without that chord since the battery never managed to hold a charge, not even when brand new.  

I pouted.  I wouldn’t talk to the dog.  She was on my poop list big time.  She was now costing me even more money….more than the vets and the training and the expensive food that she inhales at 4 cups a day right now.  My inner accountant (and we all know what a little miser my inner accountant is) was in utter turmoil over the mounting expenses of Dog.  

I came back from the grocery store, unwrapped the rawhide, and thrust it at the dog proclaiming that if this doesn’t STOP the destruction, the dog was in serious jeopardy of me never speaking to her again.  Ever.  (Yeah, I was miffed.)  

She ran off with the bone, oh so happy.  She gnawed and gnawed for hours.  The husband went to check on the dog and the bone.  (He wasn’t nearly as miffed.  His laptop chord was still intact!)  He found blood on said bone.  Turns out she managed to lose one of her lower incisors on the bone.  She was the happiest, most lovable pup after that!  

I softened big time.  And felt bad.  My poor little baby had been in so much pain, hence the being rotten and not sleeping this week, and now she was being such a good girl!  What kind of a mother am I?!  

She ended up losing another tooth that evening at puppy class: an upper molar.  Still, the other lower incisor was giving her fits.  She’d managed to chew the small rawhide bone in half.  So, we had to remove it Monday night as a choking hazard.   I brought home a medium rawhide bone on Tuesday.  Less than an hour later, the other offending baby fang was gone.  You could almost sense the relief from the dog.  She was an absolute angel all night.  

And my miser was also happy.  The puppy trainer extraordinaire had told us if she didn’t lose the other incisor by the weekend, we should have it pulled.  Her adult fang was already coming in and could be damaged by her baby fang.  Now, I don’t know for certain, but I think a vet visit to pull a tooth would have to be in the $100s at least, yes?  So, a $2 bone and a $20 chord replacement weren’t looking so bad at this point!  My miser was a happy camper after that!  

And so is Riley.

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