Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bringing Up Babies

Tiegan and Miles each have their specialties.  We have childproof locks on the cabinets and a yard stick through the handles of the chest of drawers by the bed so Tiegan can’t open them and help herself.

Miles, what a sweet boy, and oh how busy and inquisitive. As I got out of the shower after aerobics one day a couple of weeks ago, I heard something that sounded entirely too much like ripping fabric to be a good thing. I found him industriously chewing a sheet that was hanging over the side of the bed. Upon further inspection, I was dismayed to discover a substantial section was missing. Perhaps I could be more sanguine about such incidents if memories of Ivan’s bowel surgery did not still spark breath seizing panic. Off we went to our wonderful vet who had just a few days earlier met Miles at a wellness exam and pronounced him healthy and handsome, albeit anxious about being in this new scary place.  (We took Tiegan along on the wellness exam so our vet could see how nice she looked now that she has gained a couple of pounds and her tiny hip bones are no longer visible. Tiegan waited patiently curled up on my lap. She knows she’s the princess, and we are her doting people. We hope Miles will soon learn he is our baby boy and has no worries.)

Miles is fine, and did not require surgery.  Eric and I are very relieved, and the babies are now banned from the bedroom during the day. However, another morning, just as I was groggily staggering about minutes after I got out of bed, Miles crawled out from under the covers and chewed a pair of my glasses into multiple pieces. Nothing was ingested so instead of feeling alarmed, I just admired his speed and stealth. He is our sixth basenji, but the first one who decided he needed to chew my spectacles. I took them to the optometrist in a plastic bag, and the amused staff ordered another pair. At bedtime my glasses go into one of the drawers that has been secured with the yardstick though the handles.

While at the vet due to the sheet eating incident, a vet tech sheepishly showed us where Miles chewed nearly through his leash. She said, “it was just a second,” which, of course, is all it takes with a basenji. All those cool knots Eric learned to tie while sailing came in handy because he was able to tie a secure knot in the leash until we could order yet another coupler to have the shoe repair guy sew on yet another leash. I ordered some spare leashes and couplers to keep for future chewing incidents.  We walk Tiegan and Miles with leashes that have couplers sewn onto them. We attach the leash to both the harness and the collar so if one comes unhooked, there is a backup. They keep us on our toes, but they make life so much fun.

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