We can’t call for help. The Police wouldn’t even file a report. They’d smirk and call it a domestic matter. We’re senior citizens, living alone, with three furry kids. We’ve tried to be good parents, but sometimes good love turns bad.

This is the carnage from “Duke”,  our newest family member. Duke is about 15-months old. He’s brought new life into household, lighting a fire under Bonnie and Gibbs,  our Scotties who’d settled into the lazy life.

Duke’s energy is something to behold! He can leap over the baby gates in our house in a single bound. He bounces off walls while chasing toys at a dizzying pace. Look —  it’s … SUPERDOG!!

The price of living with Superdog is commitment to patience as he demands constant attention for most of our awake hours. You can’t ignore Duke. He won’t allow you to dismiss him. If you do, you’ll pay! This is a dog from whom lack of attention brings in-your-face barking … into which Bonnie often enthusiastically joins.

TV? Reading? Thinking? Not while the two of them are going at it.

Duke is on a mission to dismantle the wooden basket that contains all the doggie toys. The toys have been tuned up like some two-bit felons in a small town Police interrogation room. Those toys, like most two-bit felons, won’t rat on Duke. They’re scared. Scared big time!

Duke makes it clear what he’ll do to squealers. He’s methodically chewing through the wooden basket. I’ve cleaned up the crime scene several times in the past two days. No flies on Duke!  He just returns and continues to destroy the basket, leaving little pieces scattered across the floor, just in case we don’t get his message.

Marilyn has ordered chewy toys, a last-ditch effort at getting Duke to turn his life around.

It’s down to a few desperate hours. Will the chewy toys arrive in time? If not, this grisly scene could be the epitaph for a loving couple who tried to save a puppy from going nuts.


  1. Rowena August 10, 2017 / 1:05 am

    Garry, you had me in stitchesreading about Duke. I know I shouldn’t laugh, but there’s that sens eof familiarity. That knowledge of having been there and nowadays, sadness that those days have passed. Our Border Collie, Bilbo passed away a month ago at 11 and I knew things were grim when he couldn’t chase the ball down at the beach a few days before he passed. As a pup, he used to rip the eyes off my kids toys. He’d run to the beach with such speed, force and determination that his walker almost took off like a kite in his wake. I was in hospital and he went under the house and chewed through all the IT cables and only stopped when he started chewing through an electric cable and must’ve received a light zap. Thankfully he retreated. When it came to his tennis ball, he was an addict not content to round us and our visitors up. At hte beach, he’d bark at our dog owners throwing the ball for their dogs, to throw it for him. He was a Border Collie.
    A few years ago, we adopted a second dog as he wasn’t looking well and wanted to have a transition to ease things with the kids. This time we adopted a 2 year old Border collie x Ruby Cavalier from a farm who was still living with her dog family. I just focused on the border collie part and that she’d be smaller than Bilbo. However, she’s much more os a spaniel in nature and quite docile. Doesn’t chase anything, which really is quite a shock. Not into chew toys either. She’s more into hunting and sniffing and trying to escape.
    We are planning to get a Border Collie pup next year. However, warning bells are sounding. Do we really have enough energy for that? They really are high octane and the kids would need to walk the dog and that requires no explainations.
    Anyway, thanks for your post. I realy enjoyed it.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 1:34 am

      It’s not such an easy decision. I had not been planning another dog, but Duke kind of popped up out of nowhere. Despite the fact that he is a bit exhausting, it was a good idea. He is lively and bouncy and he has made Bonny act like a puppy again. Gibbs is a bit down in the dumps since he thought he was the only boy dog in the world and now he isn’t, but he is coping and I think he’ll be fine. I would suggest you get a dog that is old enough to housebreak immediately — or preferably is already housebroke. That getting up all night can do you in at our age.

      But our dogs keep us young and keep us moving. They change the activity level for everyone in the house and they make us laugh. We may be tired, we need that extra push. It’s good for us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena August 10, 2017 / 1:41 am

        I know what you mean, Marilyn. When Lady arrived 3 years ago, she really pepped Bilbo up and gave him a second wind. He lost about 10 kilos and cheered us all up after an initial adustment period where we had front and back door dogs. Dogs are so good for you and certainly lift your mood and keep you active. Doesn’t take a scientific study to know that.
        Best wishes,

        Liked by 2 people

    • Garry Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 7:36 am

      Rowena, thank you!! Duke sounds a lot like your Bilbo. Maybe they did time at the same Doggie Pen for recidivist Toy Chewers. Duke’s getting the chance to turn his life around and leave that life behind. I hope it’s not a case of once a con, always a con. Glad you enjoyed the post, Rowena.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Rowena August 10, 2017 / 9:59 am

        Old age chilled Bilbo out but even as a ten year old he’d chase that ball to the point of collapse. He’d keep going and going and it was only once he got home, he’d collapse in a heap and recover.
        My husband suggested you give Duke some golf balls to play with. He called them the “balls that bite back”. By the way, don’t know if you follow Paws Around the Ranch but here’s a post I thought you’d enjoy: https://tailsaroundtheranch.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/monday-mischief-3/
        xx Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

        • Garry Armstrong August 11, 2017 / 12:06 pm

          Rowena, thanks for the Bilbo stories and I’ll check out that link. Have a wonderful weekend!


  2. angloswiss August 10, 2017 / 1:12 am

    Have you tried psychoanalysis, perhaps he has a complex and spent the first days of his puppy life cooped up in a basket.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 1:35 am

      Actually, he spent his puppyhood in the cab of a great big truck. His owners were truckers. So Duke wasn’t neglected. He was well cared for … but he never had room to run. NOW he has room!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Garry Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 7:40 am

      Mrs. Swiss, we don’t have the money for our own shrink and God knows we need therapy. Sure, Duke has a complex. He has that “Top of the World, Ma” complex. I’m sure Duke is planning a big caper with Bonnie and Gibbs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • swo8 August 10, 2017 / 11:24 am

      I agree with angloswiss. He’s got some issues to deal with.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Taswegian1957 August 10, 2017 / 1:17 am

    Hopefully the chewy toys will do the trick. I don’t think soft toys are going to be an option till this ball of energy matures a bit. I guess in his previous homes Duke did not have room to run around and go crazy so he’s been storing up all this energy.Perhaps you can put his attention seeking to good use by spending the time teaching him some commands. He sounds pretty smart although whether he’ll want to obey is another story. You might just have to be the dog with the bigger bark. Still you couldn’t stay mad with that face for long could you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 1:39 am

      He got some training. He responds to “down” — hand signal and all, but it’s hard getting his attention As I just wrote, he spent his puppyhood in the cab of a great big truck. His owners were truckers. He wasn’t neglected. He was well cared for … but he didn’t have running room. He will calm down. I ordered a bunch of nylabones which I hope will give him something oral to do — besides tear the basket to pieces. The ball help because he’s obviously an obsessive fetcher but mostly, a few more months and he’ll start to settle a bit. Patience. We need patience.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Taswegian1957 August 10, 2017 / 2:57 am

        Yes once he turns two he’ll settle down a bit. Cindy was good with most of her toys but if she is given a soft toy, the sort with long floppy limbs she invariably destroys it while other things she’s had almost from puppyhood.


    • Garry Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 7:45 am

      Tas, Duke may need some tuning up if he doesn’t stop barking in our faces. I tried barking back at him. Didn’t work. Duke wouldn’t back down. It became clear a different tactic was needed.


  4. Willow August 10, 2017 / 1:57 am

    Buy those flat dog toys with no stuffing. It’s really difficult for them to tear them apart. Our dog Poptart is a chewer who also meticulously picks the seams of toys apart to get at the squeaky and it took him months to get those apart. Between him and Brandy (who likes to “kill” them every time and plays tug of war with anyone and everyone), those things really last.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 3:12 am

      Most of them ARE flat these days, except for the balls and the two or three stuffed ones that haven’t died yet. The nylabones should help keep him from trying to eat the house. I think ultimately he will be happy with balls and not much else. He is seriously into retrieving. I think that’s going to be his big thing 🙂 But he’s young, so we’ll see.


    • Garry Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 7:47 am

      Willow, you can clearly see “killer” in Duke’s eyes as we play tug of war. Question is — will the incoming chewy toys satisfy Duke…or will he become a serial chewer? Only time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ravenhawks magazine August 10, 2017 / 3:35 am

    Duke sounds like my Moon Shadow she is 19 months old with energy to burn I keep a cache of toys and bones near me to pass to her as she tears through the house. eventually she finds the one that she wants to spend time with and I have about 20 minutes of peace. She was such a chewer that she wrecked the nylabones. So my local grocer helped me out with several huge bones my guys have two apiece they have lasted almost a year. Patience and energy both needed in abundance with my two husky pups.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 7:50 am

      Raven, I hear you about patience and energy. I just hope there’s enough of both between Marilyn and me. Our prime years have faded into the misty mid region.


    • Garry Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 8:33 am

      Yes, Lois!! But Duke will likely see the inside of a “courtroom” again . He’s building a long rap sheet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • loisajay August 10, 2017 / 9:20 am

        Haha! Poor Duke. I am picturing a swagger into the courtroom…..little lady. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 8:35 am

      So far, he is young, energetic, as opposed to us who are neither young NOR energetic (though we are picking up speed, let me tellya). However, the furious barking in our faces when he wants something — play time, food, more food, even more food — is a bit much. He gets a 10 minute time out for unstoppable barking. That seems to work modrately well and usually calms him down. Of course, having Bonnie helping him shout at us doesn’t improve the situation. He and Bonnie have gotten embarrassingly smoochy.

      Liked by 3 people

      • loisajay August 10, 2017 / 9:19 am

        I know I should not laugh–but this is too cute, Marilyn. What does Gibbs think of all of this?


        • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 12:27 pm

          Gibbs is a bit glum, but to be fair, Gibbs has always been glum. He’s very Scottish Terrier, you know? He plays with Duke too, but he’s not big on running up and down the stairs and he doesn’t chase things. He holds things.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena August 10, 2017 / 11:10 am

        Sounds like Bonnie likes a younger man!
        My husband recommended giving him a golf ball to play with…a ball which “bites back”.
        I thought you might enjoy meeting up with Monika at Paws around the Ranch. She recently adopted Elsa, who’d been using for breeding in a puppy farm. Thought you’d enjoy this post: https://tailsaroundtheranch.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/monday-mischief-3/
        xx Rowena


      • Garry Armstrong August 11, 2017 / 12:09 pm

        They need to find a room. Too soon?


  6. judyt54 August 10, 2017 / 9:30 am

    he needs his own flock of sheep. If you have ever seen a border collie in full cry, herding sheep, you can understand Duke’s endless energy, The other suggestion, and this is valid, he may need to have That Operation. It will settle him down, and he won’t be struggling to dominate the Other Males (including Garry) in the house. Im sure Bonnie would approve, paws down.
    He sounds like an alpha dog with nothing to be alpha about, and many of them as they get older will get very defensive about intruders. Even family.

    Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      He’s already had The Surgery, though i think his body doesn’t realize it yet. He will slow down as they get a little older, but Duke is more tightly wound than most. When we came back this morning, as I was on the stairs, he must have run up and down the stars twenty times in about 3 minutes. i thought maybe i should just stand there and wait until he got tired. Garry gets him all wound up and runs him around earlier in the day and that seems to help. If he gets a lot of attention in the afternoon, he’s less intense in the evening.

      I can SEE this guy herding sheep. He’s got that kind of focused energy that screams “border collie.”


    • Garry Armstrong August 11, 2017 / 12:10 pm

      Judy! Judy! Judy! A flock of sheep?? It’s bad enough! I don’t think so.


  7. Sandra Kraus August 10, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Garry, you ARE the “Dog God”, no therapy needed there. They come to you to talk about their thoughts and complaints, oh yeah, and can’t forget FOOD! haha…I’m glad to see Duke is working out with Bonnie and Gibbs. Hes adorable. How could you NOT love that face, and that energy??? Maybe if you guys all sit in a session, they can figure out how to get that “angry mob” together, with THEM leading the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 12:29 pm

      As I was coming up the stairs today, Duke must have run up and down the stirs a good 20 times. I should just go stand there and wait until he gets tired.


    • Garry Armstrong August 11, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      If you’ll pay for therapy, we will all go.


  8. Ben August 10, 2017 / 10:48 am

    Now you know why he popped up out of nowhere.., Looks like a job for The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Chavez.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 12:28 pm

      Garry is working on it and I’m sure, with a few more months, Duke will relax. That’s my theory and I’m working with it.


    • Garry Armstrong August 11, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Maybe Duke would love to see John Ford country.


  9. evilsquirrel13 August 10, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    I hope that’s a GIANT shipment of chewy toys. You’re gonna need something to keep Duke busy for…….. oh, a couple of hours, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      I got six nylabones. I’m not convinced it’ll keep him busy longer than half an evening. He’s been doing some serious work on the big basket. I’m just trying to keep him from getting equally enthusiastic about the furniture. Or our shoes. Or the remotes and electronics.


    • Garry Armstrong August 11, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      Squirrel, the chewy toys arrived. Marilyn gave big chewy bones to Duke, Bonnie and Gibbs. Okay? Chewy bones disappeared quickly last night as the living room turned into a Duke Wayne bar room brawl. It was terr’ble!


  10. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread August 10, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Peace be with you both. 🙂 I brought a dog home from the pound once who ate the fog lights off the car and the batts off the side of the house as far as he could reach. I felt bad, but that little ball of fur went back to the pound to hopefully be loved by someone more patient. 🙂


    • Marilyn Armstrong August 10, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Well, he was better today than yesterday, so we live in hope. We gave all the dogs nylabones which they promptly hid, so now no one has one. I bet they don’t remember where they put them, either. Garry says he can relate to that.

      He really is a good dog and the only thing he’s taken on is the basket that holds the toys. He hasn’t eaten any furniture, electrical cords, or even shoes. We have lived with a dog who was rampant destruction for her entire life. I don’t think I could do that again, but he’s mostly super energetic. Which I’m hoping will slow down as he rounds the corner into two years.


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