Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Monday Mischief: The Opportunist Havachon

The hurricane may have unnerved Daisy while it was here, but she certainly made up for lost time during the five-day blackout afterwards.

We had set up a bridge table with a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle in front of the fireplace during the blackout. To us it was a fun pastime; to a sneaky Havachon, it was 1,000 opportunities for mischief.

Who, me? Can’t you see how innocent I look?

During the light of day, we heard that unmistakable chewing sound coming from the area of the puzzle, which is nowhere near Daisy’s food bowl. DD called her over. Out from between the chairs and sofa came a head-down, slow-slinking pup – we knew that our dear marvelous, mischievous Daisy was back in action again.

As soon as DD approached her, she dropped what used to be a puzzle piece from her mouth. Now it’s garbage:

Destructo Pup turns her wrath on OUR toys!

I didn’t do it….it was dark…..it could have been anyone…….maybe they’re Daddy’s teeth marks….?

We’re part of the Monday Mischief Blog Hop!


Monday Mischief – Using Her Havachon Wiles

It’s an unspoken Havachon Rule in our house that all ribbons are Daisy’s turf. Daisy will charm you, doe-eye you, and pour on the sweetness until you go into diabetic shock…..IF you’re wearing something with a long ribbon on it.

Once you succumb to her sweetness, which everyone does at some point, she’ll climb on your lap using those big eyes to their best advantage, tiny ears drooping  to emphasize her cuteness. “Awww,” you inevitably say, “this is so sweet!”

She’s got you right where she wants you. All cuted-out and helpless.

And that’s when she makes her move.

She’s used her Havachon wiles to gain access to your ribbon. The telltale sign? A loud open-mouthed, lip-smacking chewing sound and a very content looking puppy.

It's mine....all mine....

This is such a deep pleasure for Daisy that she actually goes into a “zone”, with an expression on her face that tells us she’s miles away, thoroughly and completely enjoying her ribbon addiction.

::slurp chew chomp munch::

Most of DD’s pajama bottoms have draw-string ribbons running through the top, and that’s Daisy’s Number One Target. She could sit on DD’s lap for hours if we let her, just pulling and chewing away on those ribbons.

The weirdest thing is — she actually ties knots in them somehow. Tight knots that can’t be undone. (Could she be a reincarnated super-flirt who used to tie knots in cherry stems with her tongue??)

Who'd believe these used to be flowing pink ribbons?!

We’re part of the Monday Mischief Blog Hop!


Eureka! We Have A Destructo-Pup-Proof Winner!

It’s true – there’s finally a toy that even Destructo Pup isn’t destroying!

Ladies and gentlemen – I present to you the Four Paws Rough and Rugged football! Daisy’s been playing with it for 4 days so far, and there’s not a scratch, gouge, or tooth mark on it!

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Daisy’s alter ego, Destructo Pup, this sweet  little character of ours has razor-sharp teeth and a steel jaw that have absolutely no mercy when it comes to toys. She’s decimated Kongs, Level 9 Tuffie Toys, and everything else we’ve put in her path.

She’s 15 pounds of pure Havachon Hell when it comes to toys (otherwise she’s a sweetheart!) and in less than a year, we’ve spent more money on toys than on dog food and treats combined. Nothing withstands her tenacity – Leave No Toy Unmauled is Daisy’s Motto No. 1.

BUT this football, advertised as “virtually indestructible”, withstood all of Daisy’s tests. In fact, when she couldn’t get a tooth-hold on the thing (after hours of trying), she stopped obsessing and now plays with it like a regular dog!

The football has jingly bells inside, so we always know where Daisy is (an added bonus!) when she’s playing with it, and she loves the sound it makes. Plus it rolls really well, so if she drops it while she’s running or walking, it gives her an automatic game of “fetch”!

Hmmm - finally a challenger I can respect!

Thank you Four Paws! We’ll be looking for more of your “virtually indestructible” toys! 😀

I love my new football almost as much as my family does! 😀


Daisy Eats The Wall

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. What I should have said was that Daisy ate a few chunks of the wall.

I was a baaaaad puppy....

DH is extremely handy around the house, and right now he’s replacing the shower walls in the master bath. He’s stripping the shower walls right down to the beams and even replacing the sheetrock with cement board, which is supposed to be better for bathrooms as it’s more resistant to mildew. (He’s not one to do things in half measures!)

Of course, Daisy has been ultra interested in all the unusual things being carted in and out of the house, plus the sounds of drilling, sawing, and hammering. Some sounds have her watching like a hawk, others have her running for the hills (especially the loud electric saw).

The first day of work, DH got pretty far. He stripped everything and replaced the sheetrock with the cement board. It was a very humid day and he got pretty tired from all those hours of work in such humidity. So, once the cement board was in place and he’d spackled all the joints, he decided to leave the cleanup for another day. All the bits and pieces were out of the way, so we could use the rest of the bathroom normally.

Daisy's Motto: Chew first, ask questions later!

I had a bad feeling about this.

I was working at the other end of the house when I realized things were too quiet. No Daisy. No eyes boring into me, no sleeping puppy at my feet, no sounds of Nylabone destruction.

Alarm set in.

I called to her. No response. Did DH remember to close the bathroom door when he finished working in there?

I raced to the other end of the house, and there was Daisy, standing in the middle of the bathroom, tongue flicking. O-M-G.

I don’t know how much debris was on the floor of the shower, but I know that one large, thick chunk of sheetrock was gone. It was about the size of a large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. And there was that tongue, flicking with satisfaction.

I panicked. I pictured waking up the next morning and seeing Daisy’s limp body with froth covering her mouth. Or watching her get more and more lethargic over the course of the evening. Or vomiting up a storm. Should I just call the emergency animal hospital and see if she should get her stomach pumped as a precaution?

I'll just give Mom my Sweet Face and she'll forgive me anything!

Instead I consulted Ol’ Reliable – the internet. I looked up “dog eating sheetrock”, and shockingly, there it was – plenty of references. What I found out is that some dogs actually chew walls – intact walls – because of a lack of calcium in their diets. Imagine that!

There are also dogs who do it for attention or because they don’t have adequate chew toys.

So why did Daisy do it? Because it was there. It was small, on the floor, and therefore hers. She doesn’t normally chew intact walls (thank goodness!), but anything on the floor is fair game to her.

So from now on DH has to either clean up after himself when he’s doing a project or shut the door behind him. And I’ll try to panic less when he inevitably forgets to do either. 😉

UPDATE: Daisy was fine after her sheetrock snack. No after-effects at all. In fact, this silly puppy keeps running up to the bathroom door (which I now keep closed tight!) and sniffing hard underneath it, clearly wanting to return to the scene of the crime. What a nut!


Dog Outsmarts Chipmunk

A friend of mine has a Basset Hound mix, but this big guy is 90% Basset, complete with l-o-n-g floppy ears and sad, droopy eyes. He’s a sweetheart but also a hunter at heart, and he’s got the patience and cunning to prove it.

Basset Hound image via Wikipedia

Several years ago, he was in his backyard when a chipmunk dashed by. This was unacceptable. He took off after that poor little thing hitting speeds we didn’t know his stubby little legs and heavy body could even manage.

Chipmunk escaped, but Dog never forgot. Every single day after that, he went into his yard and planted himself in a position to monitor Chipmunk’s comings and goings. Sometimes he gave chase, sometimes he just watched with the eyes of a ninja. The wheels were turning.

Whenever he gave chase, Chipmunk would cut his trip across the yard short and disappear into a downspout. Dog would bark and bark and BARK at the opening, pawing at the spout until his owner finally took him inside.

This dog would NOT be bested. One day, he lay in the grass like a lion, watching and waiting. When Chipmunk made his appearance, Dog chased him as usual, forcing Chipmunk into the downspout.

This was no longer a good strategy for Chipmunk. Dog had a plan.

Using his powerful jaws, he clenched and chewed and forced and worked until he closed that downspout completely, trapping Chipmunk inside.

Unfortunately my friend didn’t realize what had happened for a few days, when rain started spilling out of her rain gutter. Sadly, it was too late for Chipmunk. It was also too late for the downspout. It suffered beyond repair and had to be replaced, and of course she put wire mesh over it to prevent future incidents at the hands – or should I say jaws – of her beloved Hunter.

And the moral is: Never underestimate the canine spirit. Especially when it’s mixed with instinct. 😉


A Havachon’s Favorite Toy – Her Ear

What a little nut! We’ve noticed that one of Daisy’s favorite playthings is – her ear!

What a nut!

Now, I’ve seen and heard of some dogs who play with their ears, but this silly girl likes to use her paws like hands, going into all kinds of weird contortions trying to push an ear into her mouth. Her ears aren’t all that long, so it’s a stretch.

Once she’s got it, loud chewing noises cut through the room. And I mean loud, like a child who’s chewing a wad of gum with its mouth open.

She’s not chewing the solid part of her ear, she’s chewing the hair hanging beyond it. This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that she’s creating some pretty nasty knots in her ear hair, all of which are on the underside, not visible when you look at her.

And I can’t cut them out because they’re large enough to leave a thin area of hair or a missing chunk of hair.

Seriously, with all her blankets and Nylabones, why would she want to do this? Is it akin to thumb-sucking for dogs? What on earth does she get out of it?? ::eye rolling::

Now, where did I leave that ear toy??


Daisy the Stringer

I feel like I’ve been away from WordPress forever! I’ve had a heavy out-of-town work load over the past few days (even over the weekend!) and didn’t get a chance to post or visit my blog buddies.

Now I’m about to embark on a couple of big new projects. When it rains, it pours.

There's no better way to end the day than with a good pajama string!

Anyway, we freelance writers are referred to in several different ways, depending on the types of publications we’re writing for. We’re called freelance journalists by some, contributors by others, contributing editors by bigger publications. And newspapers who use us regularly as correspondents refer to us as “stringers”.

Daisy is a different kind of “stringer”.

Daisy loves strings. Loose strings hanging from her blanket, drawstrings on hoodies or pajama bottoms, strings we use to tie newspaper bundles for recycling – you name it, if it’s got a string, she’ll go after it. She’ll see it even if it’s the finest, thinnest string made by man.

And if there’s no string to be found, she’ll create one from something that has intact sewing. That’s not so good.

Sometimes we hear chewing sounds coming from Daisy and it looks like she’s chewing air. Just lying there, making

She's "in the zone" - look at those little teeth go!

these huge chewing motions as if she’s got an ox bone in her mouth. That’s when we have to high-tail it over to her because we know she’s gotten hold of thread, and something somewhere is coming apart.

Then comes the search to match the thread color to something in the house in case we need to repair it – usually it’s one of her toys or a blanket, but you never know. Because sometimes it’s one of OUR blankets, or even worse, clothing. That’s pretty infrequent….so far….

In this house, you could say that the sound of Daisy “air-chewing” is like a fire alarm going off in a firehouse. It’s like a call to arms. The Call of the Stringer.


Destructo-Pup Strikes Again – This Time, It’s The Furniture….

Take a look at this:

I gasped so hard when I saw Daisy chewing the stretcher bar on the coffee table that I almost swallowed my tongue.

Why oh why, with all her toys, blankets, and bones, did she choose to go after wood furniture? She’s certainly not teething anymore!

And it’s not just once – this pup seemed to be turning into a wood addict! We’ve stopped her several more times since she committed this crime, going after the same spot on the same piece. And it’s not soft wood – it’s good oak. Older oak, not contemporary veneer. She’s got good taste….unfortunately….

Now we think we may have solved this mystery – a pattern developed. Whenever we sat on the sofa and didn’t allow Daisy to come up, she rebelled by chewing on the coffee table! Clearly she wanted us to notice because the spot is right in front of us. She was sending a powerful message and trying to gain control.

I may look cute, but I can be a real mischievous wise guy...

We hadn’t realized what she was doing because she likes to lean her Nylabone against the stretchers of the coffee table when she chews it sometimes, and it makes the same loud scraping sound as she does when she’s chewing directly on the stretcher.

Now we’re very alert to it and have stopped her a few more times, putting her in the Naughty Room for 5 minutes each time. I’m happy to say that she’s learned her lesson and isn’t doing it anymore….so far…. But what’s next?

I don’t really want to replace this piece if I don’t have to, so I looked for ways to patch this huge missing chunk (it’s a good 4+ inches wide!). I found these sites explaining how to fix chewed wood furniture, and I’m passing them along in case you’re a fellow Destructo-Pup sufferer:

How to Repair Furniture That Has Been Chewed on by a Dog gives detailed step-by-step instructions on how to mend that gnawed wood.

And Creative Homeowner has step-by-step instructions along with pictures that actually show the process.

We’ll let you know how the repairs go this spring when we try our hand at it!


Swiss Cheese Puppy Blanket

Daisy’s first puppy blanket has held up better than any “tough” toys we’ve given her, but now – 8 months later – it’s finally succumbed to the effects of her toothy brutality. It now looks like a piece of pink Swiss cheese…

Holy blanket, Batman!! (Sorry about that, it just had to be said...)

This silly pup not only enjoys racing around with her blanket and playing tug-o-war with it, she also likes to chew her bone through the blanket! I’ve never seen a dog do that before – it’s like she’s trying to have a cushioned gnaw!

I’m afraid this blanket has almost reached its last day. I hate giving it up, though, for sentimental reasons – it was the first thing she became attached to as a new little puppy. They gave it to us when we brought her home because she loved it so much.

She now also has a fleece blanket she likes too, but the pink one just means so much. ::sigh::

But I LOVE my little pink puppy blanket!!

Oh, the heartbreaks of pet ownership! 😉


The Search For Tough Dog Toys Goes On….And On….

Daisy may be relatively small, but she’s got powerful jaws! We figure she’s about 15 pounds now, and she’s a solid 15 pounds – all muscle. Not what we expected when we brought that frail, bony 2.6 pound puppy into our home a mere 7 months ago!

In fact, come to think of it, yesterday Daisy turned 10 months old! 🙂

Anyway, as I’ve said before, Daisy is VERY tough on toys. We’ve been through 3 Nylabones in that short time – she’s destroyed each one in no time. Every time we got a new one, we found one that was harder and supposedly stronger, but now she even devastated the shiny, hard white one.

She has a strategy, you see – she systematically searches for the weakest spots and then attacks them mercilessly until they soon shred or tear and she’s pulling out stuffing or squeakers.

It’s really frustrating. There have been more shredded toys in our garbage than in some pet shop aisles.

Haha...I'll get you, my pretty!

The other day I went to PetSmart, and a helpful staffer pointed me in the direction of a different type of Nylabone – it’s a weird-looking thing called a Double Action Chew and is specifically made for “powerful chewers”.

We’ll see.

They haven’t tested it on our Daisy.

It’s easy to underestimate a little Havachon like Daisy – she looks so sweet, happy and friendly. And she is. But she’s also a real ruffian with her toys!

She completely destroyed a Level 7 Tuffy toy in about a week – that “Tiger Tested” toy didn’t stand a chance with Daisy! What kind of tigers are they testing these things on anyway? Aunt Ethel’s pet cat named “Tiger”??

We’re now up to the Level 9 Tuffy toy, and it’s holding up better. She found that the weakest spot is the inner binding of the ring, so she’s starting to shred that. ::sigh::

The biggest problem is that manufacturers seem to make the toughest toys in sizes suited to large dogs, so we can’t get them for Daisy. Even the PetSmart staffer thought that was ridiculous.

I also bought a crinkly-sounding flat toy called “Combat”. Sounds tough. Again….we’ll see. I’m holding that in reserve for when the Tuffy toy cries “uncle”.


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