The Final State of the Antler

It pains me to write this post, it really does. But I can’t let it go on any longer.

December 31st was the final day of Rescued Insanity’s Ultimate Antler Contest. December 31st was also the day Shiva said goodbye to her Destructo Dog title.

The house wins. The antler remains intact.

I don’t know what happened! After I announced the contest, Shiva attacked the giant antler with renewed energy. Within a few days, she had done some major damage to both ends. Total annihilation seemed within her grasp. But then something went wrong. She seemed to lose interest in preference for an old marrow bone. A marrow bone! Oh, the humiliation of defeat! She is not the dog I thought I knew.

I guess it was just too much for her. Perhaps it was my fault. Maybe I didn’t give her enough time. Maybe I put to much pressure on her. A dog, even an intense dog like her, can only take so much.

I know deep down she didn’t want to let anyone down. Shiva is nothing if not appreciative of her fans. If she could type, I am sure she would have something poignant to say about how sorry she is to disappoint you. She gave it her all, but this time, it just wasn’t enough.

Despite it all, I am going to give her another chance. I am going to let her keep the antler and give her time to finish it off. Over the holidays, a good friend of mine generously gifted her with a brand-new antler, half the size of the one shown above. Showing an amazing rallying of spirits, Shiva destroyed this new antler within a matter of hours. Here is a photo of her taken on Christmas Day, only a third of it left:

This antler was quickly demolished a few minutes later, proof that she has it in her to be a truly destructive champion. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. Soon, Shiva will conquer all. I have faith she will one day regain her title and reign queen once again.

Thanks to all who thought she could do it. I know she couldn’t have achieved half as much success without you. Your loyalty is as important to her now as ever. Hopefully eventually, she will do you proud.

My Little Protector

Envision the scene: Shiva and I are standing on the corner, waiting for the light to change. It’s a “less pretty” part of North Dartmouth, with a gas station and a pizza delivery place just a few steps away. As I wait for the walk signal, Shiva sniffs the light standard to my right. A creepy-looking guy with a hood walks towards us on the left.

Creepy guy: Heeeeeyyyy, what’re you up to tonight?

Me: *raising an eyebrow* Walking my dog.

At the sound of a strange voice, Shiva stops sniffing and moves beside me. She gives the hooded man a long stare.

Creepy guy: Whoa! No one is gonna bother you with that fella around.

The man turns around and walks away. Shiva gets steak for dinner.

It’s so weird to me how Shiva’s presence alone can scare people off. I don’t know how someone can take one look at her speckled face and think she is a demonic beast. Yet about half the strangers we run into give us a wide berth. Most of the time she isn’t even looking at them, preferring to choke down random Tim Horton’s cups or potato chip bags.

Does this look like the face of a killer to you?

One man even flipped out at us for walking toward him on the sidewalk. “Get that dog away from me!” he screamed before running away.

It was an odd experience, to say the least.

All of this is fine by me. Sometimes I wish the other half of the population would see her as a monster as well. Shiva still has issues with most strange men. Not all, but most. Men in hoods are her least favourite but I suspect that is partly because they tend to make me nervous as well. I will never give her flak for barking at those who walk directly toward her, staring in her eyes. She is allowed to set her own boundaries. Besides, it’s a great excuse for me to get out of there. Alternatively, there have been some strange men Shiva immediately likes. There must be a sort of signal certain people give off that makes her at ease. Most women, for instance, Shiva appears to trust right away. But every once in a while, there will be one who puts her on edge, even if she isn’t looking in her directon. It’s hard to say.

But it’s interesting.

While I didn’t adopt a dog for protection, if Shiva serves as a creep-repellent, that’s more than okay with me!

*******

A few weeks in to the contest, I thought I should give you all an update on the Current State of the Antler. You may be shocked to learn she has not done that much damage. It’s not for lack of trying either. Last night we actually had to take it away from her when my PH noticed her aggressive chewing was causing Shiva’s gums to bleed. That’s right, my dog is willing to wound herself for her readers. She is that dedicated.

Alas, despite all her sacrificing, the antler is still quite large.

Has she finally met her match?

The Betting is Now Open

It should come as a surprise to you that Shiva’s Thanksgiving antler is still alive and well. Sure and it’s larger than her head but she has defeated much stronger foes in less time. The longevity of this gigantic chew is completely unprecedented. In fact, when I purchased it I even told the seller how much I doubted it would last out the week.

It hurts being wrong.

Before

 

After

You’ll notice that while Shiva has done an excellent job of grinding down the one end, the antler is still going strong. Compared with all of the other bones and chews we have given her, at two weeks, this one has lasted the longest. It should be at least half this size at this point. When I purchased it, I even told the seller that I bet my dog would demolish the thing within a week. Shiva has made a liar out of me.

Do you think this means her days of massive destruction are over? Can the world’s supply of stuffie toys now breathe a final sigh of relief? I am giving you the chance to decide. Inspired by Wild Dingo’s Dansko shoe betting pool, I have decided to set up something similar to motivate Shiva’s chewing instincts.

On this 24th day of October 2011, I am announcing Rescued Insanity’s Ultimate Antler Contest!

Here is how it will work:

The house (meaning myself) bets that Shiva’s antler will still be kicking around by December 31st. If it doesn’t make it until then, the individual with the number closest to the day I am forced to toss the antler will be the winner! The official prize has yet to be determined, but I assure you it will be awesome. It won’t just be an autographed photo of the Shivster this time, I promise.

The official rules:

1. You can only bet once and, once made, this bet can’t be changed.

2. To play, enter your guess in the comments below. The comments will be open until October 31st, so you will have exactly one week to decide on your number.

3. You cannot guess for a date after December 31st. If the antler does magically last that long, the house wins and Shiva’s reign as Ultimate Destructo Dog will end.

4. The antler is currently about 7 and a half inches long. I normally decide an antler is officially destroyed when it is small enough for Shiva to choke on. So, about two inches long. When I think the antler is done, I will measure it and post the photo here as proof. Here is what it looks like this morning:

Does this sound fair? Shiva’s antler is available to her almost twenty-four hours a day and I promise not to play with the odds by restricting this access. She will have every opportunity to chew to her heart’s content. It could be all over within a few days or it could last months. It’s hard to say at this point. But remember, Shiva’s last antler was split in half by Day Two.

Good luck and thanks for playing!