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Puppy poses problem to chew on

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By Robert Villanueva

This winter’s snow and ice might have created headaches for a lot of people, but to my puppy, Zorro, they are just more things to chew on.

Literally.

Try as we might, my significant other, Rebecca Ricks, and I have not been able to dissuade the tiny Pomeranian from chewing on anything and everything.

It really doesn’t matter what he finds to chew on. Paper towels, clothes, furniture, receipts, blankets, carpets, our other dog, Tybalt; it’s all the same to him.

Zorro has attempted to bring leaves and sticks into the house after outdoor excursions. He has been having fun sticking his face in the snow and pulling out chunks of ice.

At least I hope it’s ice.

A couple of weeks ago, I brought Zorro in from a trip outside and noticed he was chewing on something. I quickly attempted to fish it out of his mouth, and eventually he dropped it and ran. It was a pebble.

I turned to Rebecca.

“Aw, man,” I said. “We’re the parents of the kid who eats rocks.”
Rebecca just sighed and nodded, knowingly.

Before you think we’re just novices at raising canine companions, you must know Zorro is our sixth and the fourth we’ve had as a puppy. None of our other puppies presented this problem.

Sure, on a couple of occasions we had a puppy begin to chew on something he or she shouldn’t have, but we were always able to deter that activity with a stern “no.” That was all it took. Ever.

The puppy wouldn’t do it again and would stick to toys or treats. Only one of our puppies tried chewing more than one thing she shouldn’t and after a reprimand on the second occasion, she stopped.

Until Zorro.

Just before I began writing this column, in fact, I received a call from home.

“I’m convinced if Zorro were human he would have prison in his future,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca went on to relate Zorro’s latest escapade in chewing. She caught him chewing on the leg of a chair and put him in time out, which amounts to closing him in our downstairs half-bathroom.

Upon his release, he went straight to the chair again and tried chewing on it. Back into time out went Zorro.

This time, Rebecca left him in longer. When she let him out this time, he strutted — yes, strutted — out.

Then he went back to chew on the chair.

It was only after the third time Rebecca put Zorro in time out he stopped going back to that chair to chew on it. But judging by his history, that doesn’t preclude Zorro from returning to chew on that chair at some point.

That stern voice we used on our other puppies doesn’t work on Zorro. He might stop for a moment when we tell him “no,” but as soon as he gets a chance, he’s back at the scene of the crime.

Use chew toys and chew treats, you say? Obviously, Zorro needs something to chew on.

We’ve tried that. That doesn’t work, either.

Zorro chews the treats and toys, but continues to chew everything else as well. Sometimes he alternates between chew treats and household items in a chewing frenzy not unlike a great white shark. A 3 1/2-pound great white shark.

We have yet to try those sprays that are supposed to deter pets from chewing, but I see that in our future.

Maybe that will work. Or maybe Zorro will grow out of this and we have nothing to worry about.

Then again, maybe we’ll just have to make peace with the fact that our kid will always eat rocks.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at 270-505-1743 or rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.