From time to time we all get our ups and downs. There are some wonderful days when everything falls into place and problems seem to resolve themselves with amusing elegance. There are days where nothing goes right and every little thing annoys you and tries to cancel the leftover nice vibes you have. And then, there are some days when you just cannot believe them; they are so odd and come completely out of blue with their mixture of surrealism and suspicious sequences of events. These days are the ones we tell our friends about and the story usually starts with the phrase “You won’t believe what has happened to me today”. And sometimes, it is hard to fall for such stories until it happens to you and you are the one saying “Hey, you won’t believe me but I have just seen dog eating homework.” Stay tuned to find out the next steps you can take if something like that happened to you (after the initial shock and a lot of laughter, of course).
Let’s start with the basics. Actually, it is not that uncommon and happens in real life, not only in The Simpsons episode. Dogs are famous for not being particularly squeamish in terms of food and paper might seem just as attractive to them as a juicy steak. Of course, there are some reasons behind the desire to chew on your notebook:
Not enough nutrients
It might be that the current diet does not fit your dog’s needs and that’s why the poor gal turned for vitamins elsewhere. “My homework is a nutrient?!” you might ask. Well, yes and no. When you are hungry you do not always reach for the healthiest option, right? Consult a veterinarian to make sure the current diet suits your little buddy.
Depending on the breed, dogs are the creatures that require quite a lot of activities and attention. So if the dog does not get enough exercising and running around, he or she might get bored, just as humans do quite often. In order to avoid Bart Simpson’s fate and dodge saying his famous “dog ate my homework” phrase – just make sure to entertain your pet with lots of walks and running around in the open air.
Some doggies are curious by nature. They are the little explorers of the world around them, though, sometimes they might not be so little after all. Remember when you were a kid and everything seemed fascinating and exciting to you? You wanted to touch and smell and taste everything. Well, it is kind of how some dogs are. And if your homework happens to lay on this path of discoveries – be prepared for it to fall victim to the great exploration conquest! In order to avoid it – just make sure to hide every important paper document in the places that are out of reach to your little (or not so much) explorer.
If this unlikely but possible event has happened to you, do not panic and rush to Google “What to do if my dog ate paper?” Of course, it is not the healthiest thing to eat, but it is no Macadamia nuts. There are some products that no dog should ingest. Among those are these particular nuts, as well as grapes, raisins, avocado, onion, garlic, and anything that contains caffeine. So unless your dog ate the whole thesis on quantum mechanics – you both should be fine, as long as you had it saved in a digital format on your computer. Of course, if you are worrying and your fluffy friend exhibits unusual behavior you should definitely consult a veterinarian.
Let’s wrap up with the “why” of it and go to the “what to do” part. If this seemingly improbably story happened to you – do not overreact. First of all, we need to estimate the amount of damage and see possible ways out.
- Think deadlines: Was your homework urgent or you still have time to recuperate. If the deadline is approaching very soon – do not hesitate and pay for assignment to be done for you. It is a good aid in situations like these and will save you a lot of time and nerves. If you still have plenty of time – check our next points.
- Traceback your writing: In the ideal world, you would have a digital copy of your assignment. But we all know that our world is usually not that perfect. So if this option is off the table – check for any notes you might have. Maybe you laid out a plan for your paper somewhere, maybe you did research and left some notes or rough drafts. These all will be handy in the recreation of your “eaten” homework.
- Start writing: If no materials are available – do not worry. Usually, our brains work like powerful computers and store tons of information, even if you sometimes cannot recall the needed data. We do not promise you that you will be able to recreate your work by heart in no time, but you might be able to restore parts of it. The key is to start writing and researching the topic of your task – your brain will start automatically fill in the gaps. You will need to write some stuff from scratch, but other parts will be “automatically” filled in by your vigorous mind.
You see, it is not as bad as you might think, for both your dog and you. Any situation is repairable, if it is not your destroyed homework, of course. But even if so, it is easy to see why your little buddy might have wanted to chew on something as alluring as a finished up assignment. Make sure you are both have a good laugh about it, eat some healthy not paper-based snacks, and get plenty of exercises. And a piece of good advice – always have digital copies of your works, whether it is a simple homework or a whole 500 pages worth monograph. Let’s hope your dog does not have a tooth for plastic.
Susan Wallace is a veterinarian that specializes in animal behavioral psychology. She often concentrates on the issues concerning the co-existence of humans and animals. Ms. Wallace has a blog where she shares her most memorable and interesting cases, along with some advice for pet owners.