Ollie’s Baby Teeth: Why Puppies Chew

If you know anything about puppies, or babies for that matter, we like to chew on things. We’ll put anything, and I do mean anything, in our mouths. Philosophers have queried why this is the case for centuries. Well, I’m here to spill the kibble as to why we’ll put pebbles (Yes, I’ve worked my way back to those.) or sticks (Coming to a screen near you soon.) or dirty, filthy shoes – even our own stinking toes – in our most prominent orifice and gnaw away. Drum roll please…. It feels good. That’s right – so simple. Good is good.

IMG_2337
(Ollie content in the autumn partial shade.)

Who would ever think that wood, plastic, rubber, rope, paper, and stones, leather, metal, glass, tissues, and cloth were so delicious? Well, if you must know, I think so. The tastiest of all is skin. You got it. With my baby sharp teeth I would bite and bite and bite on James’ hand. After all, he put it in my mouth repeatedly. Truth be told, I’d bite it until he screamed, “Ouch!” That told me it was time to bite more gently. Now that was a fun game we played. Like I said, it felt good to gnaw down on his hand. Good is good.

Of course, that game became stale after I was in my twenties – weeks that is. We didn’t play it as often by that time. However, by then I was going after everything in sight. The molding on the bottom of the walls, chair legs, window sills, name it and I thought the circus was in town.

James also came to town as my shadow. Well, he was always my shadow, following me everywhere I went. He wouldn’t cut me any slack. I did manage to get some good chewing in on several items before he brought out the sour apple spray. Boy is that stuff yucky – blah. Gross. Next thing I knew, James was spraying it on things I would be moseying up to. He thought I was going to start in on whatever it was – and he was right. He sure is smart. (A treat! I love James. Another treat!)

One day while I was whiling away the time gnawing on my gray elephant I called Ellie something stabbed my throat. I thought it was piece of Ellie’s trunk or her eye, but it was one of my teeth. I gagged and coughed it up from halfway down my throat. It shot across the room and landed beside James’ shoes. (I do love chewing on his shoes.) Anyway, after James picked it up and taped it to a piece of paper, dang if another tooth from the other side of my mouth didn’t do the same thing.

Version 2
(The molar on which Ollie gagged – slightly out of focus.)

Both of these molars were taped to the same piece of paper and filed away for safekeeping. Only James can’t seem to find them now. Perhaps they are too safely kept. Oh, well, it’s fine with me, but it’s been driving James crazy while I’ve been dictating this to him. (He has to do the typing since my paws are too large for the keyboard.) He wanted to take a better picture than the one he found. Suffice it to say, I’m glad I chucked both of them up as they might have done some serious damage to my stomach if I swallowed them.

All of this reminds me that James wrote a poem about my teeth. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

TEETH

stones and grit cross your lips
causing me to fret
they’ll damage your choppers
my solace is these are still your baby teeth
sharper than a shave
cutting through wood rubber
cloth and skin

from a spray bottle
comes the flavor of sour apple
materializing on surfaces
such as the baseboard
you selectively chew
leading you to gnaw incessantly
on playthings made of rubber and cloth
for now

your front row of piercing bottom daggers
mysteriously disappears as if overnight
yet no tooth fairy makes off with them
to this I can attest
and soon they are permanently replaced
by still larger fangs replicating
their previous incisors prior action
like vampire talons
these dagger like teeth
tear the skin of my fingers
while giving you treats

the orange and red rubber rooster
whose squeak you so admire
is the first of your favorite playthings
to die a gruesome death
next to expire your navy-blue shark
out rips the inside of the mouth
then the stuffing tears out
the green gator you love so much
becomes your ensuing unfortunate victim
even though you are ever so gentle
as you sweetly sever its feet

then comes the night of surprises
when at twenty-one weeks
while tossing and chewing your gray elephant
you unexpectedly cough up a molar
still it is one of your infant teeth
a blade that created extensive damage
to many an object of derision
mostly those made of wood
a second cough you deliver
produces yet a second spectacular molar
mementoes to be cherished
like baby shoes in copper

you’ll grow to use your blades
pulling apart rope toys
swallowing those pieces of twine
as your tines rip and tear
and still more teeth will disappear
with each day as you age
to be gaps in your mouth
you’ll never miss for
steadily pushing in are the adult variety
finalizing at around eight months
thirty-five weeks of grazing grinding
before your teeth will be the grown-up assortment

I repeat silent prayers
that you’ll get to your eighth month swiftly
which I know you will
far too quickly
and I know or should
that your chewing won’t stop there
you’re a lifetime nibbler
which is only fair
so I’ll start to brush them
each morning and night
which you’ll let me do
surprisingly being quite nice

the only thing I’d change
if it were in my power
would be to lengthen the lifespan
during which you’d utilize these teeth
for I know it won’t be long enough

Isn’t that sweet? It chokes me up every time I reread the last part of this poem. To think, I was also choked up when I almost swallowed those two molars. Believe me, their edges were super sharp from where they pulled away from my gums.

Besides, I plan on being around for quite some time. Yes, and I’ll be chewing and nibbling on anything left on the floor. That’s right. Clothing, papers, pens, anything that’s found its way to the floor is fair game. Just sayin’. Should you come and visit Skygate Farm, you’ll know what I mean should you ever leave anything on the floor.

Which reminds me. In two weeks I’ll tell you about the sticks I once chewed. Well, I’ll still chew on wood from trees. Come back and visit with me and you’ll find out what I mean. We’d like to see you then.

Speaking of like, we hope you like reading about my first year and the different poems James wrote. If so, let us know in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

 

Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated
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