Nonetheless, he's affectionately known as the Rug Killer. Don't let those puppy dog eyes fool you! While he's reasonably well behaved (save for some nuisance barking and an obsession with the neighbors' hound dog), he cannot be trusted alone with a rug. His methods vary, but his objective is always the same: Demolish the rug. Kill the carpet. Destroy the floor covering. I don't know what the attraction is, but he really loves rugs - loves chewing them, unraveling them, peeling off the rubber rug pads and chewing them into kazillions of pieces.
I've been through a revolving door of area rugs since his arrival. The primary "war zone" is the family room, where he sleeps and where he hangs out most of the time. We started out with a small berber carpet remnant:
Cause of death: Rubber backing ripped off and stained by muddy paws. There was also a minor incident involving a doggie nail trim gone wrong and some blood droplets, but we won't talk about that. I still have guilt.
Next, I found a darker beige shag replacement, kind of like this one from Home Decorators Collection:
Cause of death: Projectile vomiting. Apparently Gus is allergic to certain foods, but it took a while to figure that out. Have you ever tried to remove dog vomit from a shag rug? Or ANYTHING from a shag rug, for that matter? Suddenly, I understood why they had gone out of style. They are completely and utterly impossible to clean.
Next, I actually got around to decorating the family room and decided I wanted to go for a warm, kind of "English library" look. Bad choice. Warm colors make me claustrophobic after a while. I found an overpriced, persian-style rug in shades of gold and chocolate brown. Terrible, oppressive choice for the room. More importantly, terrible choice for Gus.
You can see a corner of the hideous thing in this photo. Please ignore the immodest dog pose, but I had no other shots of that rug, such was my hatred for it:
I really wish he could learn to relax...
Cause of death: Frayed corner (from chewing) and it showed dog hair like nobody's business. The rug is not technically dead, but it was quickly exiled to the basement.
Next, I decided I needed a less dreary, lighter look. I wanted a sisal or a jute mat--something natural and airy. After quite a bit of research, though, I decided it was too risky. So many reviews of those rugs listed staining as a problem. Time for plan B: I ordered a large berber (yes, again) remnant in the shade that I thought most resembled jute. In the store, it was a dead ringer for the natural fibers I craved. When I got it home...not so much. It just looked like a nice, beige berber. *SIGH*
. . . and after:
Cause of death: Chewing (obviously); staining (more mud); ripped rug pad (he enjoys folding the rug in half and attacking the rubber padding underneath); and unraveling. He holds loose carpet strings in his mouth and rolls over, unraveling it as he goes. Weirdo.
All of this brings me to the present. Two weeks ago I finally accepted that it was time to replace the rug again. I went to Garden Ridge (a big box discount housewares store) and rooted through their dirt cheap carpet remnants, but everything seemed to be the color of band-aids. From afar, though, I spotted a stack of huge indoor/outdoor rugs. One in particular caught my eye: a sage green trellis-patterned rug in a synthetic material that looked and felt like natural fibers. Only $99 for an 8x10! Too good to be true, right? I thought so. I went home empty handed, but soon came to my senses and went back to make the purchase.
And let me tell you...I LOVE IT!
It's stain resistant, and because it's made from synthetic material and is meant as an indoor/outdoor rug, it can actually be HOSED OFF should something (vomiting? muddy paw attack?) happen!
I really think it brightens up the room, too...
So far, I'm pleased to report that the rug hasn't shown much dog hair, has held up to dog zoomies and drool, and, best of all, Gus hasn't tried to chew it! He picked up a corner in his mouth the other day, and before I could do anything, he looked at me funny and spit it out...as if it tasted bad or something. YES!
Could this be the answer to all of my [rug-related] problems? Dare I hope? Gus certainly seems to like it...keep your fingers crossed for me!