Gracie Ate A Leather Leash. Really.

"female put bull terrier in wire crate"

“My name is Gracie…”

“Gracie ate a leather slip leash last night,” I explained to the woman on the other end of the phone. “… all of it except for the brass ring.” Following a moment of silence, the two of us worked our way through what turned into a 15 minute conversation. Having no idea that she was at the center of our lively but concerned chat, Gracie lay calmly in her crate looking up at me. Happily, for my immediate peace of mind, she looked none the worse for having eaten that leash, the feasting chewing of which could only have happened sometime between the hours of 10PM and 4:30AM last night/this morning. While she was upstairs. Sleeping with my son her person.

Not the first night upstairs, mind you.

She’s gaining more access to the house as we find out how to read her.  She lets you know when she wants to go out, although today, that might be a bit challenging. Her vocabulary has expanded. She’s learning what “guard the house” means. Yesterday, we worked on “Wait.”  When we are going out the back door and I don’t want her to go barreling out the door.

She knows that she eats in the kitchen – we’ve been gradually replacing what she’s used to with more of what our other dogs eat. I started adding the green powder supplement that our dogs get into her food. There’s a noticeable difference in her coat – not as rough and the thin spot on the top of her head is gone.

Yesterday, she had her very first hard boiled egg in its shell.

She’s very aware of where everything is in the backyard. If one new item is added, she takes serious note. If one huge, noisy item is added – yesterday it was the garbage truck – she scurries to her pee spot and hustles back inside.

The crate in the dining room is her safe place to watch what all of the activity on the first floor. She’s slowly acquiring a collection of puzzle toys – today’s grand prize was going to be a black kong stuffed with peanut butter. My husband stuffed it last night and put it into the freezer. Right about now she would be wrapping her front paws around its frozen, ribbed surface, as her face lit up in recognition. She’s enjoyed these tasty treats before. But with whatever is going on inside her as the leash does whatever it is that it needs to do before it comes out of her, it seems just a bit hazardous to give her anything remotely like food.

We’re waiting.  As the woman I spoke with at the vet’s office explained, “We can’t do anything other than watch her. If she starts vomiting, having diarrhea … call us.”

I’ve been here before. With Tessa and a pan of brownies. You may remember that.  I’m really hoping that Gracie and I can somehow avoid that dog and pony show. Today was supposed to be the Gracie/Tessa sidewalk show. My husband and I were going to harness up the girls and walk down to the end of the block, turn around and come back. We were pretty excited.

Yesterday, I found out that Gracie likes it when you sing to her. She cocks her head, half smiles and settles down with her head between her paws. This morning, after her person and my husband both left for work, I sang to her again.  This time, I sat on the stair landing where she couldn’t see me. She was so not happy that all of her people were out of her sight.

“My name is Gracie, I live with Tessa and Josephine …”


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