Random Ravelings

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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dog Eats String

My dog eats yarn. Also string and other string-like materials. This includes rugs. I came home from work yesterday to discover that Jazzy had eaten about half of the fringes off an area rug in the living room. And thrown up most of it again back on the floor.

The photo shows Jazzy and the rug in question a few days before the fringe-eating incident. Does she look guilty here? Any signs of incipient fringe interest?

The whole saga actually began several years ago. It was late autumn. I was knitting hats for Christmas presents for my brother's family. I left a partial skein of white Lion Brand Chunky USA (100% acrylic) from that project on an end table by my favorite knitting chair while I was at work. I didn't notice anything different about the yarn, but Jazzy was unusually subdued that evening. I didn't think much of it.

Then, that night, at around 3am. I wake up to the sound of a dog retching. If you have a dog, you know what I'm talking about. I'm a light sleeper, so I was out of bed within seconds, got Jazzy into the bathroom (linoleum floor rather than carpet) and she did what she had to do. It took me a while to figure out what she'd been eating. (I'll spare you the details of this part.) Eventually, I realized that she had been eating yarn. White yarn. I then scouted through the house to figure out where she'd gotten it and found the partial skein of Chunky USA in the living room. When I picked up the skein, it did feel suspiciously lighter than the last time I'd handled it. I'm still not sure why she went after the yarn. And it was acrylic! Wool might at least have had a chance of being digested. After that, I started being careful to keep the yarn put away, or at least out of reach.

That's where the rugs come in.

Having been deprived of yarn for her string obsession. Jazzy took an unusual interest in a throw rug I bought in December of 2004. It was one of those with continuous loopy pile and rubberized back. I figured she couldn't do much do it. I was wrong.

She gave me fair warning. A couple of times I found her chewing on the rug, pulling at the strings in it, occasionally even pulling one out and getting a length of thread several feet long. I was always there to stop her and trim off the offending strings. Until one Friday last spring. I came home from work and discovered a large chunk of the rug was now missing and the rug had a definite chewed look to it. Since there was no one else in the house, I had to conclude that Jazzy had eaten it.

I called my Vet and consulted with the vet tech about whether I should bring Jazzy in or not. I was advised to wait and see what happened. So, I waited. The next morning, while I was showering, Jazzy regurgitated the missing part of the rug onto the living carpet. (Again, I'll not go into detail here.)

Fast forward to this past summer. I found a really good deal on an imported silk rug while visiting my mother in Florida (pictured above). I was concerned about the fringe, but figured I could trim it off if Jazzy showed any interest. She pretty much ignored the rug, other than sitting on it, for several months. No particular interest in the fringe that I noticed. Until yesterday. And then, half the fringe is gone. When she does something, she goes all out.

What will be next? Who knows. I'm careful to keep yarn out of her reach, at least when I'm not around to supervise. So, yes, I can set down a work in progress and leave the room. No, I can't leave the same work within Jazzy's reach if I'm out of the house. I can't store yarn where she can reach it. I'm keeping a mental list of rug and carpet materials that are reasonably Jazzy-safe and which are not. The large braided rug in the living room is reasonably safe -- though she occasionally tries to chew on loose threads, she's not managed to get any significant quantity of fiber loose there.

Oh yeah, she also eats grass.


Blogger Sheila said...

This story sounds very familiar. My golden retriever Maggie is guilty of the same obsession. String, fringe, you name it. I do a lot of work with yarn, so I am now a bit suspicious, I had not thought about it before hearing your story about Jazzy.

Besides various kitchen throw rugs, Maggie has eaten the fringe off two oriental carpets. (we will not even mention the corners of all my kitchen cabinets!) I am considering I may redo the fringe although I am not sure if she will just do the same thing over again. I am really thinking it has something to do with eating grass. If grass is not available, what is the next best thing? FRINGE! Maggie is three years old, eats anything in sight, if it is on the floor or within her reach, it is fair game to her.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

Yep, Jazzy gets into grass as well. I do agree, that's a likely connection. Fortunately, I haven't had any further fringe/yarn eating incidents since this posting. I hope your Maggie stays healthy!

4:28 PM  

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