Thursday, May 5, 2011


At the clinic where I work, we have a high energy canine patient.  To respect his privacy, we'll call him "Abe".  Abe obsesses over rocks.  He chases and chews them, desperate to get his mouth around them -  rocks, of all things.  How do I know this?  Not only is his owner at his wit's end with this annoying behavior and told us all about it, but just recently this poor pooch was put under anesthesia to have his teeth cleaned.  At that point, the extent of his obsession was made fully apparent.

Not Abe, but you get the idea...

Each and every tooth was worn down from years of grinding on rocks.  There was extensive damage done, and his teeth were ground down to pulps - a fairly painful progression.  We scaled and polished them, advising Abe's owner to keep him away from the dreaded rocks.  His owner revealed to us that Abe loves to chew on rocks in the backyard.  I asked him if he takes Abe on regular walks.

Dog park?
Doggie day care?
So Abe's only outlet for his high energy is rock chewing.
Poor dog.

All I could imagine was that feeling of having drank too much coffee, and then trying to fall asleep.  (For me this would have to be a whole coffee pot, but you get the idea.)  Tossing and turning, feeling your skin crawl as you readjust your position for the 18 millionth time.  Horrible.

This got me thinking about how I meet my own girls' needs.  Do I meet them?  Are they bored?  Frustrated?  I imagine they tolerate quite a bit of boredom and frustration, but they do so with grace.  I know Nyxie particularly needs more exercise to release her anxiety and drive to work, and as my physical endurance grows, her walks and runs grow longer.  It's a big responsibility to meet your dog's needs and give them a full life.  A few hugs and pets on the head after an 8 hour absence just isn't enough.  If you're unable or unwilling to exercise them, pay someone else to do so, or engage them in games that work the brain!  Doggie daycares and dog walkers are everywhere - you just need to get creative!

So if you love your dogs, you'll not keep them around purely for your enjoyment, but you'll let them do those things that let them maintain balanced dogness.  You know, the things you may not want to, but you know they'll love.  Like when Matt wants to watch a an episode of Mythbusters to nurture the science nerd inside of  him, when I'd rather be piercing my eyelids!

True love requires consideration and at times, sacrifice.  
Living with a dog is a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.


  1. 2nd post we have read...GREAT again! We couldn't agree more!

    Poor "Abe"

    We normally get walked twice a day, as well as going everywhere our humans go - even if we just sit in the car and also do regular training sessions!
    We are pretty balanced doggies - though sometimes Laura gives us a bit to much attention when we probably don't deserve it ;) *hehe*

    Licks and lots of slobber,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes

  2. Poor Abe is khorrekht!

    I'd love to show him some fun fun fun!

    Thanks fur sharing his plight ;-(


  3. Some really good one-on-one time is great. And when Mom's too least we have a big yard and lots of pack mates to play with.

  4. We hope someone can convince Abe's human to try to engage him a bit more in some exercise. Mom says she thinks there can also be medical reasons for rock chewing, or actually chewing of other materials as well. It can represent a deficiency of something the body needs or in some cases may be a sign of diabetes.

    Speaking of exercise, Mom, isn't it about time for some walkies for us?

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  5. Well, I have to say that Dexter likes rocks too and in his case it has nothing to do with lack of exercise. Of course there is no place without rocks. Last summer he ate several, but I am hoping that he has gotten past that or he will need a muzzle just to enjoy his own yard.

    That said, yeah, dogs are not ornaments. They require attention and stimulation.

    Mango Momma

  6. P.S. If I could leave chew bones out, that might help Dexter, but unfortunately, all chews can only be enjoyed with dogs separated since Mango is such a piggy bully.

  7. Bummer Abe. Maybe your parents took a hint? One can only hope.

    Waggin at ya,

  8. I'm back ;) I forgot to answer your question. Our toaster is a Honda Element. Funny how they made yours and our lil suvs look like toasters! BOL! Too bad they don't actually toast things ;)

    Waggin at ya,

  9. It's a great post!
    We should never keep a dog if we can't spend our time with it.
    I feel so sorry for Abe.

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  11. Great post! Thanks for reminding all the humans! ;)

    Woofs & Happy Mommy Day hugs,


  12. Poor Abe. Too bad so many people think of dogs as home accessories and don't really want to interact..."go lay down!" "stop making so much noise" "you just were out!" A pet is a partner and your reminder is spot on!

  13. Oh, that is so sad. Poor dog. But why have a dog if you can't or won't nurture and cultivate his or her balanced dogness? Excellent phrase. Excellent post.

  14. How sad for Abe, but now maybe more fun awaits him.

  15. It puzzles me why urban folks persist in buying/rescuing dogs which are of such size that they cannot fulfill their exercise requirements at the end of a leash. Then they call in Cesar M.
    Enjoyed your post.

  16. Hi Y'all,

    My Human's secret fear was that as a youngster I might take a liking to rocks, since summers are spent in the mountains and everything is ROCK. I remember her yelling at some poor soul who wanted to throw a rock for me to fetch. If words could decapitate...

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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