Updated: August 5, 2012 6:06AM
Q . We have a beagle hound mix named Tank whom we love. He is 7 months old and already has had emergency surgery to empty his stomach of five pounds of junk such as grass, carpeting, stuffing from pillows, etc. Four months after surgery, he is still eating everything. He even eats the stuffing from his bed so now he sleeps in his metal cage with no bedding. What can we do?
A. The first question, of course: Are you feeding him enough? The second question: When he had his emergency surgery did you speak with the veterinarian about how to control his need to eat everything? This is either extreme puppy chewing behavior or a medical condition (tapeworm farm in his stomach?)
Load up on safe chewables for teething puppies such as Kong toys, bully sticks and frozen marrow bones. This is a dog with a mighty jaw and whenever he chomps, you must monitor. Consult catalogues that sell “indestructible” dog beds: Drs. Foster and Smith, Orvis and Fetch Dog are three. And it’s not such a bad thing he sleeps in a metal cage because confinement is the best way to stop his dangerous chewing if you can’t supervise.
Q. I live with my daughter. We just put down her golden retriever and are devastated. How do I get over the grief? I am 81 and he was my daytime buddy. I feel my purpose in life is gone and my other children and families live out of state so there are no hugs available. My daughter is not a hugger and has chosen to isolate herself when home.
A. When you have a loss in your heart, think of creative ways to fill the gap. Consider becoming a daytime dog sitter for a single older dog. Watch over a new daytime buddy while the owner is at work. Devoted dog keepers are always on the lookout for a humane daycare solution. Nothing makes more sense than a seasoned minder such as you watching out for a grown-up, well-behaved dog.