With Hush’s first birthday less than a month away, I have been thrilled with how much she has matured. She no longer sleeps in her crate, instead, now she sleeps on my bedroom floor with the door to the crate open so she can come and go as she pleases. She has been an absolute saint with the added freedom. The most destructive thing she has done is tear the head off of her plush duck toy that quacks. She has not chewed any furniture, nor has she gone anywhere near any of my shoes. She happily sleeps on the floor with Milly all night, and quietly waits for breakfast and her walk in the morning. When I am not home, however, I do still crate her.
With so much great behavior, I was absolutely shocked two nights ago when I heard a tearing noise and looked down to see her eating the corner of one of my books. I had two books sitting on a trunk at the foot of my bed. Of course, Hush decided to go for Tipsy in Madras, an out-of-print satirical preppy drinking guide that is selling used on Amazon for nearly $50.00. And, of course, my copy was in mint condition. I would not have cared at all if she'd gone for the beach read beside Tipsy In Madras that I snagged in a used book swap. But, alas, she went for the expensive one.
The silver lining is at least all of the words are still intact, which I discovered upon opening the book, and was promptly inspired to make a tasty beverage found on the first page I turned to. I suppose the bite marks do give the book more character, although I hope to never be in this position again. I am glad I caught her in the act so I had the opportunity to scold her, but I probably should not have left such temptations within her reach. This was the first, and hopefully only time, she ever chewed on any paper product or book... so it really caught me off guard. In many ways, you don't want to set your dogs up to fail by giving them too much freedom, but at the same time learning to just be and relax in environments is critical. I certainly will not stop letting her sleep out of her crate, though now I'll check to make sure nothing is within her reach. And, this reaffirms she still is not ready to spend longer periods of time when I am away from the house outside of her crate. Since this incident, I have made a real effort to give her lots of physical and mental stimulation, as behaviors like chewing tend to be out of boredom.