We figured it would best to start with baby steps. Leave them out for an hour or so while we ran to the grocery store. Leave them out on Sunday mornings while we went to church. Over the past few months, the amount of time they are left alone and out of their crates has expanded greatly.
We learned early on that one of them did not like it when we left magazines in the magazine rack. It never failed, if an US Weekly or Carolina Country was left in the magazine rack, it would be shredded across the house when we returned home.
But in all honesty, I could handle that. We learned not to leave magazines in the magazine rack. And more importantly - they *never* touched any of the books/DVD's/candles/piture frames/etc anywhere else in the livingroom - in particular, our entertainment center that houses tons of stuff. They never messed with any of value, so I could handle a shredded magazine every once and a while.
Saturday we Steven and I were gone all day. It was the longest amount of time the dogs had been left on their own and I really didn't think a thing of it....
Until we walked in the door and found DVD's and books shredded in the livingroom floor.
At which point - I went through.the.roof!
Bauer immediately ran to the back door. Dixie took off to the office trying to hide from my fury. Steven had to wrangle them both into the kitchen so we could have a little chat about their poor behavior. It looked a little something like this....
Ears back - tails tucked.
You can see that Bauer is genuinely sorry.
Dixie has a more defiant resolve that she did absolutely nothing wrong.
Telling Daddy how oh so sorry they are.
Steven forgave them almost immediately and things returned to normal between Daddy and the pups. I on the other hand held a slight grudge and refused to acknowledge either of them for a bit. Yet another sign that I will be a complete failure as a mother.
I must admit, they did look awfully cute and pitiful with their sad "please don't be mad" eyes. Maybe next time they will think twice before shredding my Twilight DVD!