Thursday, November 10, 2005

Harry's Teeth Grinding Frenzy

Over at Harry's Place, there's an alarming story about Harry's recent anti-social behaviour. I realise that things haven't been going Harry's way over the last couple of days, but this is surely an over-reaction:

He chewed the table, he chewed the chair. He chewed a hole in the end of the couch big enough to stick his head in (and believe me I was tempted). He chewed the trim off the wall. He shredded any book, magazine or newspaper he managed to get a hold of. In the yard, he chewed on fallen branches, pine cones and even rocks.

He pulled the television cable loose and chewed through it, blacking out the TV. It didn't matter, though, because he had already shredded the TV Guide, so we didn't know what we were missing.

In a chewing frenzy, he tore the plastic bags off all our McDonald's collector's edition Beanie Babies, which at the time were thought to be quite valuable. I yelled at him for that and I still feel bad about it.

Rather than let the tensions escalate, we set to work to come up with a viable anti-chewing strategy. Some supposedly knowledgable people recommended locking him in his crate when we weren't home, but that seemed like pretty cruel thing to do... We opted instead for a three-pronged approach.

Firstly, we reduced the opportunity for destruction by moving anything remotely tempting out of little Harry's reach. That wasn't hard, seeing as he's not too tall. Then we liberally coated all the furniture and chewable bits of the house with a bitter apple spray designed to make them less palateable.

Not to deny Harry in his forté, we provided him with an abundant supply of fine chewables. We made it clear that these things were his to chew to his heart's content, but that he better darned well leave the furniture alone.

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