DIY Failure

Everyone who does DIY has had a failure at some time and I am no exception. I like to think that I learnt from it and improved, but I had better start at the beginning and explain how it came about. When I was teething I liked to chew all the time. My bipeds provided me with a variety of chewy things which I enjoyed, but I liked to check out other things as well. My scope was limited, as they never left any shoes or slippers, or anything else interesting for that matter, where I could get at them.

There was a pine bench in the kitchen and I had already improved it by rounding off the corners, but I had more ideas left to try. Every time one of the bipeds saw me working on it they handed me one of my chews and told me to chew that instead of the bench. It was getting quite frustrating – I just knew they’d like the improvements, if only I could complete them. Then my chance came – I was at home with the female biped and she told me to be good while she went shopping. I knew I had at least an hour – and that is a very long time for a puppy.

I got straight to work. There was a bar that ran underneath the part they sat on and joined the two big legs, but on the outside of the legs there was an odd wedge-shaped piece of wood at each end. I thought it would look much better without these wedges, so I set to work nibbling at one. It was quite difficult to get my teeth into it, but I persisted. Gradually it began to move and I managed to remove it. The end of the bench definitely looked better without it. I dropped what remained of it under the bench and I set to work on the other end. I removed this one far more quickly because I’d already had some practice. I was surprised at just how quickly I had become a DIY expert.

old woodworking tools

My teeth were as good as any woodworking tools!
Attribution: By Takkk (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

I’d only just finished removing the second wedge when I heard the car. I put the second wedge under the bench and moved away and laid down with a chew, as I wanted the bench to be a nice surprise. The biped came in with the shopping, she stroked me and said, “What a good girl you are!”

She was pleased with me already and she hadn’t seen the surprise yet! She put the shopping away, talking to me while she did so. Then she went towards the bench and called me over for a fuss. I went over to her and she bent over to stroke me and sat down on the bench. Something really strange happened then, the bench swayed to one side and started to sink. She stood up quickly and looked puzzled. Then she saw the bits of chewed wood underneath the bench and sighed. She looked at the ends of the bench and said, “You have been busy!”

She picked up the pieces of the wedges and turned the bench over. She fiddled about at the ends for a while and gave up – what remained of the wedges was falling apart. When the male biped came home and he inspected the bench, he said, “Oh great! Has Clowie been doing some DIY again? I’ll see what I can do with it in the morning.”

The next morning he took the bench out to the shed and I could hear strange noises. A little while later he came back in with the bench and put it down. He said, “That’s the best I can do for now – it isn’t very pretty, but at least we can sit on it again.”

I had a look to see what he’d done. There were new wedges at the ends – they were even uglier than the ones I’d removed! It seems that the wedges were indeed a necessary part of the bench. Whoever could have guessed that?

Another strange thing happened a few months later – they threw the table and benches away and we had new ones. I’d finished teething and I hadn’t chewed anything I shouldn’t since the bench collapsed. They trusted me with new furniture!

I’ll have a tale for you next Wednesday, but I have some exciting news to tell you before then. I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I can – I have some things I need to do first! Don’t I sound mysterious?