Friday, October 26, 2012

Never Leave Me

It's cute when your dog wants to be with you all the time.  He follows you around your house.  He sticks his nose through the door crack just to see you working.  He cries if you walk your other dog without him, even though you just walked him solo.  He wags his tail so swiftly when you come back home that you fear your walls are taking a beating.  He absolutely adores and worships you.  How could you not love this dog?
Well the dog has another personality...he absolutely cannot tolerate the idea of you leaving the house without taking him.  He has such bad anxiety that he has been known to rip open throw pillows, chew your Dyson vacuum cord, and eat your couch.  Yes, you heard me right...He has so much anxiety that he will EAT YOUR COUCH!
That is the sight my husband walked into after being away from the house for work when I was out of town.  He called me on my drive back home from a 5 day semi-vacation to East TN and said, "Do you want to know what the brown dog did?"  He then said, "I am not going to send you the picture yet, but he ate the couch." I thought he may have gotten one of the cushions.  No, he got all four of the back cushions.   

My husband gathered all the pieces and left them in my craft room so we could decide what to do next...
We had two options.  We could repair the couch cushions ourselves, or we could get them reupholstered.  I am all about taking on a challenge and doing things myself.  So, I decided I would purchase fabric and reupholster them myself.
A trip to Hobby Lobby, about $30 dollars, and 3 1/2 hours of sewing were all I needed.  Oh, and patience.  Much patience.  As I fitted and sewed, I couldn't help but think how if we only had put the dog, Walden, in daycare that day he wouldn't have been able to do this to our beautiful couch.
So first, I tried to use Under Wonder to patch holes.  Then I put the iron on the fabric, and it made a BIGGER hole.  That's when I realized stitching was needed and ironing could only be used if thick fabric was placed above the existing & destroyed fabric of the original cushion.

I ended up only patching holes in one cushion.
The other three cushions, I re-did the entire backside.  Making a stitch where the edge used to be so the cousin wouldn't be so round, but more square.
 It actually all turned out pretty well.
We ended up keeping Walden, not bringing him to the pound for his misbehavior...even though at the time I was ready to lock him out of the house!  (I could never give up either of my puppies).
Thinking about this more, I am sure Sasha had something to do with this mess, but am POSITIVE Walden was the instigator.  They both are so cute, I love them to death and have already forgiven Walden for his 'handiwork' from eating the couch this past Monday.  I am a sucker for these two!

 Do you have dogs with anxiety that leads to chewing and destruction?  Any ideas for how I could work with my dogs on this behavior?


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  2. Biggest thing that helped us with our big boy was ignorning him for at least 5 minutes whenever we left home and ignoring him when we came home until he was silent (otherwise your're reinforcing the negative behavior). Ignoring him was the hardest. He would cry and whine for at least an hour, before he would be quiet. Eventually it paid off. It took around 2 or 3 sessions before he learned. Our dog obedience instructor recommended this to us to help with seperation anxiety.

  3. That's a great suggestion! Did you crate him? Walden is now going to be put in his 'house' when we leave. Should I keep him in his house after I return until he is silent, or let him out and then ignore him until he is silent?

  4. We had a special room for him and a baby gate in the doorway. He still chewed the molding apart that way. Crating is the best thing and we should've done that. We kept D in the crate until he was quiet for at least a couple of minutes. Our instructor had told us to keep him locked up in room or crate until he was silent. We would sometimes do "dry" runs too. Lock him up for 10-15 minutes and then come back in and wait for him to be quiet. Helped a lot!! D was not as good of a dog as he is now. We put a lot of work into training him. I understand your frustrations completely, but it get's better. There were times I told Larson I couldn't do it anymore.

    1. Walden was crated a few times this weekend. We ignored him when we got home for about 5 minutes. Surprisingly he never cried or whimpered for our attention. He did drool a good amount, but not as bad as he used to drool. His crate is parked in my office for the time being and this week I am going to do some dry runs. Thanks for the suggestions!