A Gardener's Tale of Woe..."Chewy and Me"

comments (0) May 27th, 2010

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JadaE JadaE, member
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I'm sure a lot of you have seen the movie "Marley and Me", the story of the Grogan family and their wild and crazy lab retriever named Marley.  I read the book and saw the movie, and laughed in wonder at how the family could put up with that dog!

Fast forward a few months.  In January, my family adopted 8 week old "Chewy", a beautiful chocolate lab puppy.  He was the runt of his litter of 10 puppies, only 10 lbs when we got him, and so sweet!  We fell in love with him on the spot and brought him home from the breeder that same day.  We met Chewy's mama and dad, and in particular took note of his daddy's BIG size, but didn't think too much about it.  I do remember thinking that Chewy's mama looked really exhausted, even as she licked her little runt (and the last puppy to be adopted) goodbye.  I hope she got some good rest after we left!

Chewy didn't stay 10 lbs for long.  In fact, I only remember he was that size because I took a few pictures.  He's now 6 months old and already 55 lbs, and he is a force to be reckoned with.  He has many bad habits, but the worst behavior is a total disregard for my garden.  In fact, he has DESTROYED it! 

In a matter of days, Chewy dug up and ATE my new blueberry and raspberry plants.  (My birthday present from my hubby!)  He turned over and scattered my containers of peas.  He created 3 foot deep craters where my raised beds were to go in.  He ate the strawberries right off the plants!  In short, he is a gardener's worst nightmare!

I do have a plan, but it will taking some saving to implement.  If I am going to have a real garden, and a puppy at the same time, then we are going to have to have some fencing put in part of the yard.  My husband is going to have my garden fenced off, to give me my little garden sanctuary back, and give Chewy and my kids the rest of the yard to romp and play.  My garden budget is tight, so it will likely be next Spring.  Until then, I am content to make the most of my front yard herb garden, and the few containers of tomatoes that have been moved to the front.  My potatoes are ready to plant now, so I will use trash cans that I think he will not be able to turn over.  Then again, if he likes spuds too, I will move them to the side yard!

For now, I tend my teeny front garden, and spend most of my outdoor time playing fetch with my misbehaving puppy.  Lord knows he needs my attention, and time spent training him is not time wasted!  We have joined a CSA for the majority of our fresh veggies, and a new farmers market is coming just 5 minutes from our house!  We will survive the summer of Chewy's destruction, and still eat fresh and local.  We will keep on loving Chewy too...he's ultimately worth the frustration, just as Marley was truly loved by the Grogan family.  It's just hard to raise a garden and a lab at the same time....

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posted in: Living, dogs