Please help me with Ava!
Okay guys, I just don't know what to do anymore. Here's my dilemma...
Ava is eating my entire home at this point. I don't own my home, I rent an apartment and I rent from a very nice complex where everything is new and I just so happen to work for this company as well (which makes the pressure of maintaining the condition of the apartment even worse!).
Well, I've only been here 2 months and since I've moved in Ava has really more or less destroyed the place. Now, I know she is young and all and she's going to eat things...believe me, I have come to recognize the fact that every single time i walk into my house there is going to be something destroyed. I understand that when i leave my shoes on the floor in the living room and i come home to find them in tiny pieces in the middle of the living room floor...that's MY fault. I have no issue with that. By the way, this happens every day, if it's not shoes, it's magazines on the coffee table, things I've left on the kitchen counter, socks she pulls out of the laundry room, my underwear from my closet (which she knows how to open herself!) and ALL of this...I could care less about.
FYI - Just so you know before I keep rambling. I have two crates for Ava. She was being crated while I was at work all day at first...which i was okay with....but then she started tearing apart things in the middle of the night, she even ate the corner of my bed when i was sleeping in it...so i had to start crating her at night too. Well, then i realized she was being crated practically 20 hours a day, and i know myself and I would be the FIRST person to tell someone else how incredibly cruel this is and that it's not healthy physically or emotionally to keep a dog in a crate for 20 hours a day. So......I started weaning her out of the crate. Coming home at lunch and letting her out for the last 2 hours of the day....she'd do okay. Shoes and little stuff....but nothing I couldn't live with. I started trying her out of the crate at night again, but she'd eat the stuff off my nightstand, eat my bed skirt and anything else that was made of fabric while i was sleeping, so we had to do the crating at night again. Bottom line....I have the option to leave her in a crate 20 hours a day OR leave her out of the crate. I have been leaving her out of the crate because I can't conciously leave my baby in a crate for 20 hours a day. It's just not right.
Ava has moved on to big and better things. First she ate the legs of my kitchen table and chairs....okay, okay....stuff happens. I got over that quickly. Then she ate the corner of my $300 area rug...okay, whatever i turned it around so it's not quite so visable...then she ate the other corner and the other corner and then of course the OTHER corner. Well, obviously i am not buying a new one right now because she'll just eat it again, so my apartment looks like crap...please also keep in mind, she will lay down right underneath my feet while i'm laying on the couch and chew apart the rug right in front of my face. It's not like she only does this stuff when I am not around. So.....rather than keep her crated, I tried gating her in the kitchen. Well that worked okay for a day or two, UNTIL she deciding to eat the wood moulding around the bottom of the wall. (again, this is a new apartment!). I tried the bathroom, (they are really big here and it's atleast bigger than the crate) and she scratched up the entire back of the wooden door and ate my bath mats and the end of my shower curtain....
Well today i came home from work and opened my front door over a mass pile of ripped up carpet padding and as i stepped further into my door, I found the brand new carpet of my apartment ripped off the ground and flipped over as far as the next room. The entire carpet is chewed into pieces in mutiple areas and not just along the seams (which would be easier to replace and piece together) and the carpet padding is all ripped apart into chunks. I have flipped what's left of the carpet back over and i am missing big holes all through out it and all the padding is missing in chunks so it doesn't lie flat and there are tacks sticking out that hurt really bad to walk on so no i have to wear my shoes around the house. I work at this apt. complex and live here so i am going to HAVE to have this replaced the correct way which means now i have to tell my boss that after being here for 2 months my dog has destroyed my carpet and being a single mom supporting myself and my son on just my income and barely skating by....um, is it possible for me to make payments to pay for the new carpeting in my apartment??!!? Meanwhile, I am typing this note to all of you and that little bugger has the nerve to come back over to the carpet she's already destroyed and start tearing it apart again. And she knows she's wrong, she runs into her crate and crates herself the minute i stand up to even check tos ee what she is doing. I don't even put her in the crate for punishments, i would never want her to associate it as a bad place, she puts herself in there.
This is obviously NOT working out. I just don't think she's cut out for apartment living. I honestly feel she needs a house with a yard and a family who has someone home that will be able to give her the extra attention she needs and deserves. But....i've spent the last several hours crying and just staring at her as she climbs on top of my and licks my face to bits. I LOVE this dog. Many of you know, I drove myself down to florida from chicago in a uhaul, towing my car...and had this little dog in a seatbelt at my side the whole ride....I had no intention of ever giving up my dog and I think it will rip my heart out if i do...but is this good for either one of us?
for those that don't know me well, i have volunteered at canine rescues in chicago for a long time, i have taken Ava through training, she has tons of toys, ropes, chewies, even bones that i am not crazy about because i know they can be dangerous to their internal organs, etc. but that i've bought anyway in hopes that she'd chew that instead. i leave the music on when i leave. i fill kong toys with stuff and freeze them so they take longer to get the stuff out. and there is nothing that has made a difference....not to mention SHE WILL DO ALL OF THIS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, IT'S NOT JUST WHEN I AM NOT HOME.
Please help me make the right decision for both of us, I just don't know what to do. I feel like we are both miserable right now but i can't imagine life without my Ava.