On preparing for parenthood….

I have recently discovered there is nothing my dogs won’t eat.

When my husband and I first adopted them nearly 3 years ago, they came to us with instructions to feed them only the highest quality (and most expensive) organic dog food imaginable.

Then we learned that they’d been eating bacon double cheeseburgers while in foster care. Imagine our surprise when finding this out (from the same foster care giver that had “suggested” we feed them the pricy organic food)! The pups immediately went on a strict diet of affordable puppy chow twice a day and walks around the neighborhood before each meal…they lost weight FAST! Even their new vet was shocked when they first came in weighing 22-pounds and just a few months later, a svelte 17-pounds each. “If people think your dogs looks too skinny,” she told us, “it means they’re healthy. Most people overfeed their animals and think ‘fat’ looks ‘healthy.’ It’s not.”

So with Leo and Suki down to a normal, healthy weight and looking sleek and happy, the madness began.

First, they ate all our candy we brought back from Mexico. I have no idea how they even got to it considering it was on a table top. Then, they broke into a bag of tortilla chips and went to town while we were at work. That’s when we started puppy proofing the house with locks on every cabinet that contained food. It worked for a while.

Then we moved to a third floor apartment.

That’s when Leo ate the house clean of chocolate. I know, I know…chocolate could kill a dog. NOT THESE ONES! I came home one day to discover that all the chocolate in the candy dishes was gone. Sigh. Then, while I was in the shower one Saturday morning and Todd was out of the house, I walked into the living room to find Suki chowing down on graham crackers and marshmallows that were supposed to be taken to a friends house for fondue that night. She had the most pathetic “I’m not guilty” look on her face…it was hard to be mad, except that I had to re-purchase the fondue fixin’s.

Another time, Todd took Leo out with him and I left to go to the gym, so Suki was locked in the kitchen by herself. Suki busted out of the kitchen and found Halloween candy and ate herself stupid on candy corn. I honestly have no idea what possesses my dogs to do what they do. While we were living at the apartment, the dogs discovered that trash was their favorite thing to eat in all the world. Too many times, they got into the trash and again ate themselves stupid (er than they already apparently are). So we child-locked the trash.

Then they discovered the tupperware cabinet. Fortunately, they only chewed up one or two dishes so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

May of this year, Todd and I bought our first house in the bustling metropolis of Arvada. The dogs always seem to get really anxious when we pack up the house to move and this would be their second move with us…but I was so excited for them! They’d have a nice big house with a giant back yard and tons of room to run and play! They love the yard, almost as much as Todd and I do (though Todd might like it a little less than me since he’s the one that does all the yard work *grimace*)!

We all know how moving into a new place goes. There are boxes and bags all over the place, half of them unmarked or have unknown contents. One such bag existed during our move and was left in the kitchen where Leo and Suki get locked up when we’re not at home. We hadn’t yet lived in the house for three days when Leo discovered one of those giant chocolate orange things in the bag and decided to eat it…all of it. Suki helped too…and the ensuing mess was almost unimaginable. Then they managed to break into the garage (which at the time was full of things to give away, donate, recycle, whatever) and found a box of Hershey’s Kisses….and ate almost all of them, foil and all.

Up until this point, at least they were eating actual food, whether it was for doggies or not. Food it was.

Then they broke into the Tupperware cabinet and chewed up almost ALL of my Tupperware (fortunately, for them, it’s still usable, but c’mon). Child-locked that cabinet.

Then they broke into the pantry (which I was convinced had a door too big and heavy for them to open) and chewed through a package of cookies that had a CD-ROM in it…and ate the CD. Yes, a compact disc! Child-locked that cabinet.

Then they broke into my baking cabinet. It has pie plates, mixing bowls, Pyrex measuring cups, all that good stuff. It also holds my deep fryer, that I keep filled with oil most of the time. It’s been in that cabinet, at that height, the entire time we’ve lived in the house and never once have they gotten into that cabinet. I was sure the cabinet was safe. Until I got the following phone call from my husband:

Todd: The dogs got into your baking cabinet. They dumped out the deep fryer and ate all the oil.
Me: WHAT THE %#@^&%^@!!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of the conversation was a bit of repetition of that. Leo and Suki puked their guts out all night and generally looked miserable. Plus, they weren’t allowed to have dinner that night or breakfast the next morning (not out of punishment – we’re not that mean – but for safety reasons). It was a pretty horrible night for all of us (I’m a giant worry-wart and didn’t sleep much that night for fear that my dogs would die in their sleep). But they ended up being just fine and no worse for the wear except that their fur is extra soft and shiny and they reek of vegetable oil (which is a nice change for Suki as she generally has a stench of tortilla chips and pee).

So we emptied out what remained of the oil in the fryer, cleaned it with soap and water and put it back, none the wiser.

Not three days later, I came home to find that they’d gotten back into the baking cabinet and had this time pulled out my antique marble rolling pin, gnawed down one of the handles and scratched the hell out of the marble. MARBLE! My dogs ate MARBLE! So Todd child-locked that cabinet.

The only remaining cabinet in our house that does not have a lock on it is the one containing our cookware and my KitchenAid stand mixer, which is worth more than Leo and Suki combined.

Suffice it to say, our house is 100% prepared to be inhabited by children someday…but based on what our dogs have done in the last three years, I’m a little concerned about the shenanigans a tiny human could get into…

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