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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Nosh

Given that Dakota is not a normal "Labrador Retriever" and doesn't follow the same traits as the dog breed, we often forget that we do have a Lab in the house. Cheyenne is a very typical Lab and has gone through the negative and positive of the Lab dog breed. She is a great hunter, tracks very well, very affectionate with kisses, needs to be around people all the time, and so on. However, she is also a big chewer, has a great deal of energy, and is a little harder to train at times. Let's go back to the "chewer" comment. I want to illustrate my point on Labs and their need to put things in their mouth.

We returned home after a couple of hours of shopping to find white, green, and yellow plastic pieces all over the house. I wouldn't have recognized what it was if I didn't find a large letter "G" on one of the pieces. It was my husband's Green Bay Packer Christmas ornament - well, at least it WAS his ornament. Normally people would try to figure out which dog did it but we didn't have to guess cause Cheyenne walked away with her head down as soon as I picked up a clump of white plastic. Of course, Dakota then walked away with her head down because whenever Cheyenne is in trouble, Dakota goes to hide. We thought we had lucked out that it was plastic but then horror struck - we couldn't find the metal hook to attach it to the tree. Was this going to be another $1,000 vet bill to open up our little Cheyenne and empty out her stomach? We kept a watchful eye on her for a couple of days without any problems. Two days later, my heart was relieved as I vacuumed up the metal object from the other side of the room. She must have tried biting on it, didn't like it, and left it away from where the mutilation of our poor ornament occurred.

The tree has now been moved to our basement recreation room, which is behind a gated stairway. We can't blame the Lab but only teach it that chewing on such things is wrong. Whenever a Labrador comes in contact with something it should chew on, the item needs to be removed. And that is what we did - even if it means Christmas in the basement until she is older and better trained.

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