Tuesday, December 4, 2007

vaseline, tabasco and toilet paper

I've been trying to give Oreo some more freedom, and time out of his crate when no one is home. Some days, he behaves like an angel. Some days, more like a devil.

Before I go to work, I exercise Oreo and play some games. I shut all the bedroom doors, and limit him to the living room and kitchen, which I try to dog proof as much as possible. I leave him plenty of dog friendly toys, many stuffed with yummy food. He eats those, but unfortunately Oreo seems to enjoy chewing on wood and electrical cords.

I have tried spraying the chew deterrents they sell in pet stores, such as bitter apple, on the furniture. Dogs are supposed to hate the taste. Unfortunately, Oreo likes the taste. I spray it, and he runs over to lick it all up. Yummy.

I did some googling for help. The sites said to find something the dog doesn't like and then apply that to the furniture. I know Oreo doesn't like green beans, but how could I adhere beans to wood and cords? Also, how would I keep Misty from eating the green beans - she likes them.

So, I put some cayenne pepper on a piece of cheese to see if Oreo would like it. He lapped it right up and came back for more. I needed something hotter. I squirted some Tabasco sauce on the cheese. He sniffed it, licked it, looked at me in horror, and then backed away. Yes! I found something he doesn't like.

Now, how to apply Tabasco sauce? I couldn't just pour it over everything in the living room.

I resorted to mixing it with Vaseline and then spreading it on all the furniture he has been chewing on. This is really kind of icky, and dog fur sticks to it readily. The room now has a tex-mex aroma whenever you walk in. Too bad it's Christmas time, rather than Cinqo de Maya.

The day after I applied the vaseline, I came home from work, inspected all the furniture, and found no bite marks! I lavished Oreo with praise and treats. Later as it began getting darker, I went to turn on the one living room light that hasn't had its cord chewed through, and nothing. Oreo had chewed right through the cord.

Jeff came home, and rewired all the lights. I spread my Vaseline concoction all over the cords.

I still wasn't convinced this would keep Oreo from chewing. So, when we went to work today, we left a roll of toilet paper on the floor. Dogs love toilet paper. Now, I'm sure no dog expert would recommend doing this. They would say we are teaching Oreo that chewing toilet paper is OK. Too bad. What do they know? I'd rather my dog eat toilet paper, than my lamp.

Well, I came home from work today. The lights are working, furniture is intact, and there was shredded toilet paper all over the living room. Mission accomplished.

For all you environmentalists reading, the toilet paper is made from recycled paper. Jeff and I tried to use it, but it was just too scratchy. I think we found a fabulous way to reuse it, rather than sending it to a landfill.

No comments: