Carly: Weapon of Mass Destruction (Photo by Tom Egelhoff)
Carly: Weapon of Mass Destruction (Photo by Tom Egelhoff)

When Marvel Comics needs another superhero I have one for them. My eight-month old female shelter dog named Carly. Carly picked us out to be her parents at the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter in December of last year. Little did we know what we were in for.


We have adopted shelter pets before and some of them have been puppies. Most were older dogs but we thought what the heck, “How bad can another puppy be?” We were about to find out.

Separation Anxiety?

Some dogs don’t like to be left alone and turn a little destructive. Now, Carly was not alone, she had her new adopted sisters, Bridget and Suzie to keep her company. But there is alone and then there is alone.

Our first trip away from home without dog proofing the house resulted in the loss of a pair of my wife’s good shoes, a pair of headphones, pair of glasses, a hole chewed in our bedspread and the shredding of my business check book.

Needless to say we learned a valuable lesson. This is something she’d get over in time right? Sort of.

New Hedge

We decided to spruce up the yard a little by putting in some hedge. No problem. They lasted for a whole three days before Carly pulled three of them out of the ground to play with and chewed on a couple more that were on life support for a time.

So back to Cashman’s to pick up some additional hedge. Fingers crossed. She pulled out a couple more. So $56.00 later we now have chicken wire protecting our fledgling hedge. In case you didn’t know, the correct term for chicken wire is, “poultry netting.”

This was not separation anxiety. We were home during these attacks.

Super Dog

The wife insists that Carly gets no bones of any kind. They might get stuck in her throat and she might choke. No bones but …

  • She ate a plastic solar light.
  • One comforter, three quilts and two afghans have holes that should not be there.
  • She ate the ends off two soaker hoses.
  • She ate the plastic pots that our new plants came in.
  • She tore open a bag of charcoal and spread that all over the yard.
  • She did the same with a partial bag of potting soil.
  • And a partial bag of Peat Moss
  • She found an empty cardboard box of Christmas Lights that blew under the deck that we didn’t know about and distributed that all over the yard.
  • In order to keep her occupied we bought chew toys and tug-of-war ropes. She’s on her fifth rope in as many months. She shreds ropes.
  • Most chew toys are like the movie, “Gone in 60 Seconds.” I may rent her out to test durable dog toys.

Some Final Thoughts

Most people would have sent her packing long ago so why is this small weapon of mass destruction still in our home? I believe that when you make a commitment to care for a person or an animal that you don’t just shut them out if things don’t go exactly as expected.

Dogs, like people, learn our boundaries over time and she is doing just that. She’s a family member and you don’t kick family members to the curb just because they make mistakes.

She’s really a great, loving dog and I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world. Not sure the wife is in total agreement just yet but Carly is slowly winning her over. She hasn’t eaten a bed spread for at least two months.

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