The Puppies Ate My Stove

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

I write this post a hungry man. It’s been days since my last home cooked meal. I have had to make do with dry biscuits. You see, the puppies ate my stove. Not the entire stove, but all the knobs and buttons that enable me to switch the stove on and select a cooking function.

They’ve also eaten parts of our wine rack, chewed our couches, broken beer bottles that were left in a cooler box (after undoing the mechanism that keeps the lid closed), eaten all of our Tupperware and decided that the best place to chew the bottle of orange juice (that was stolen from the cupboard) was on the sofa.

Needless to say if we invited you over for dinner you’d be disappointed with our food and shoddy looking couches. We’ve tried to keep them busy by giving them large ostrich bones to chew and this works until the bone loses its flavour. The thing is, the only way we can tell that the femur is no longer worth chewing is once something else in our home gets destroyed.

After reading a bit about dogs and their tendency to chew everything, it appears as though we’ve gotten off lightly. In one online forum, owners told tales of poochs that had destroyed items such as:

• A wallet, including credit cards and about R1600

• Wooden blinds, valued at R3000

• A Sony PS3

• The leather interior of a Chrysler

• Couches

• The bumper of a Lexus

We’ve decided that a second round of puppy obedience training may be in order. All of the experts reckon that a combination of training and more exercise will do the trick. This may help prevent future calamities, but what about the items we’ve already lost?

The way I see it there is only one thing to do – put the puppies to work. I will devise a system whereby I attach a monetary value to every chore they complete and once they’ve completed enough chores, they will be able to repay their debt. For example, every time they chase the neighbour’s whiney cat away I will knock R50 off (R100 if it’s between 11pm and 4am).

They will assist with our paper recycling. We’ll give them old newspapers, receipts, statements and bills which they will need to tear into smaller bits. This weekly task is worth R20 a go. Our garden could use some pruning. If they are willing to do their bit and bite off dead buds I will happily take R40 off their debt.

I have looked into buying a lightweight push-lawnmower but after a bit more thought decided it was a bad idea. I’m not worried about their safety – it’s the likelihood of the mower being destroyed that concerns me.

I could list dozens of chores that the puppies could do that would both help me and reduce their financial obligation, but my laptop battery is running flat and they’ve eaten the power supply.

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