As I write this, our puppy is frantically circling the room, looking for something, anything she can gnaw on. Right now, she’s a chew junkie and I’m wishing Animal Planet had its own version of Intervention.
Turns out she’s teething.
This all started yesterday morning. After my morning shower, I caught Olive on the ottoman with a half chewed up envelope that was spotted with blood. I disposed of the envelope in a flurry, and panicked thinking why would she be bleeding?
Then, I found a solitary incisor, alone and pathetic, but surely the first of many to come.
I couldn’t have been more oblivious to the concept of teething. The more I researched it, I felt like a parent who’d never heard of puberty. I suffered three years with braces and I’ve lost many cold battles with dentists and orthodontists. I understand the misery of oral pain. Still, you didn’t see me ransacking my childhood home, eating up remote controls and yesterday’s mail.
Olive has taken our furniture hostage, threatening to chomp whenever the pain flares up. She has expressed she will pee wherever she pleases, and we’ll forgive her, because we know she’s in agony. Whenever she starts chewing on an armrest or a towel, we have to pop a toy in her mouth to relieve her urge. We’ve got socks, ropes and toys rotating in the freezer so we can help relieve her inflamed gums. What we have is a manic puppy for the next two months. Just as you or I would blurt out an expletive while suffering, she’ll bark and howl without warning.
For a puppy, this is rock bottom.
I miss a week ago, when our biggest concern was her bouts with gas. What I wouldn’t give to have her puppy farts back. Wait. Check that — they’re still here. Oh my God, are they here.
Now Olive’s laying on the loveseat next to me, splayed out like she spent the night awake on a chew bender. I hate to catch myself complaining because this is, in part, why we got a dog. We wanted something to take care of, something to raise — a project, a mission, a hobby.
At times — like when she farts — I think we should’ve joined a kickball league. Then she comes into the room, stares up and plops helplessly on her belly. Or, she falls fast asleep and starts kicking and growling through a dream. Or, on our walks, she’ll lead me home, making all of the right turns without my cue.
No matter how moody, stinky or destructive she gets, I know this is worth it. It may not smell like it, but I know it is.