My Apartment’s Puppy Scars

My dog is grown up, but my apartment still bears the chew marks of his youth.


On Thanksgiving day, my boy Moxie will be four in human years. And while he’s a stunning, somewhat mellow adult these days, I don’t have to look far to remember the days when he was a wee, wild pupster who thought the world was his chew toy. Or, more accurately, that my apartment was his chew toy.

When guests come over, they tend to think I’m pretty well put together, but knock the cushions off the couch and it’s another story. There are very many tales of canine misadventure at my apartment (some involving soiled, shredded tampons), but here for your viewing pleasure are five that have quite literally left their mark.

1. That time he decided to dig to China through my couch.

Mr. Mox is a very catlike dog in that he A) uses a litter box and B) likes to hang out on top of furniture. But his weight often knocks the cushions from their placement, and when he discovered as a teething puppy that the thin black cloth between the suede panels covered a delicious layer of foam, there was only one option. We came home on more than one occasion to find chewed-up couch foam everywhere, and my attempts at hand-sewing a new piece of cloth to hide these shameful puppy scars were in vain.

2. That time he nicked a pen from the table, and left a huge ink blot on the floor.

This apartment scar is only partially Moxie’s fault. We had just gotten the carpets cleaned (doesn’t it always start like that?) when he decided it was a good idea to gnaw on a pen he found while we were out and break it open, leaving a dark red blot the size of a fingertip in the middle of the carpeted living room. Then his idiot mom tried to remove the blot with every substance known to man and wound up making it at least three times worse. Long story short, we had to patch that bit of carpet, pictured underneath the guilty dog below. PLEASE tell me it’s not that obvious?

3. That time we had the carpet cleaners patch the carpet in the living room and he dug an enormous hole in the bedroom carpet the minute after they left.

So, you know how we had the ink blot mishap patched? The living room carpet was cleaned right after (this was a few months later) and we put Moxie in the master bedroom to keep him from soiling the still-wet carpet, thinking we could leave for an hour to get dinner. Wrong! When we returned, we found he had shredded the carpet under the bedroom door in an attempt to escape. Sometimes I think we are single-handedly keeping the carpet patchers in business.

4. The time we tethered him on a long lead attached to his crate (STUPID first-time dog owner move from years ago — do NOT copy) and he clawed off long strips of the carpet.

We were hesitant about crate training in the beginning, mainly because Mox was litter-box trained and it felt mean locking him up when we could give him access to it. But since he was a tiny puppy, we didn’t want him jumping on the furniture in our absence and possibly falling off and hurting a delicate Italian Greyhound leg. So we put him on the long lead we used for training, attached it to the crate (which was adjacent to the litter box), and left to run an errand. We returned to a fairly distressed pup, and more shredded carpet. Suffice it to say we never tethered him to anything after that. And we’re grateful he’s grown into a thick-stemmed lad who owns the furniture. Even if it means #5 on this list.

5. The perpetual pee stain on what is now Moxie’s chair.

As mentioned earlier, Mox likes lounging around on the furniture like a cat. The chair that matches our sofa offers him a bird’s-eye view of San Francisco, so he was quick to claim it as his own. We’re glad he’s entertained endlessly by the view, but now this chair is home to the perpetual puppy pee stain (see placement of dog wiener and the result in the photo below).

When guests come over, we toss a dark brown throw over the stains, which we’ve stopped wrestling with after Mox made it plain he wasn’t going to stop checking out the pigeons on the rail.

Is your house home to any puppy scars? Has your pup ever shredded something you absolutely loved? I want to hear all about it.

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