They’ve eaten our plants and torn up our shoes, all while giving those puppy dog eyes we can’t resist. It’s worse than having toddlers in the house, as we’ve welcomed two new additions into our lives.

Daisy and Duke, sibling lab puppies, had missed out on finding their forever home by the breeder and were rescued by a local center that gave them a second chance at life. A remarkable group of volunteers give their time and energy toward finding good homes for pets who’d otherwise be put to sleep or continue living in deplorable conditions.

After being a dog-less home for several years, it was time. The decision wasn’t an easy one. After loving and losing furry friends, it’s hard to give your heart away again, knowing their life span is simply not long enough.

Within the first week they managed to tear out the potato vine plant in the backyard and Duke ate so much of it he had to be at the vets for a day (having a vet in the family is great for us, but I’m sure she’s tired of the continuous inquiry texts).

Both of our arms and hands look like we had a fight with a barbed-wire fence as the pups like to show their attention by nipping at us. Our house looks like it’s been put on the market to be sold with everything in reach of the pups having been stored away and out of sight.

They race around the house like crazed animals, have chewed up more items than I can keep track of, and I think they both may think their name is, “No!”

We are on week three and, after never having had a puppy, I can honestly say they are worse than the toddler terrible twos. There’s no reasoning with a puppy who has their eyes on the prize. If they want to chew it to bits, they will find a way to do it. Since pups don’t wear a diaper we’ve had the shampooer on standby and even though they now try to sneak a pee in the corner, we’ve got their number.

The kitchen counter is lined with our shoes since we can’t find a safe place to put them. The pups have already figured out how to push our buttons. If we tell them no, they grab the shoe-towel-sock-remote control-reading glasses-paperwork or whatever they can find and take off running with it. If the pups were able to giggle, I’m sure everyone in town would hear them as they watch us old folks try to chase down our possessions.

If we leave them for too long in their “safe place” they’ll paddle their water out of the bowl so the entire floor is soaked. They’ve ripped off the branches of the bushes in the backyard and have tried to eat the rocks in the landscaping.

Their saving grace is they love to snuggle, give kisses and are excited to see us, even when we just leave the room for five minutes, but not near as much as we are to see them.

Thank you to Midwest Animal Rescue for taking the time to care and for giving us the opportunity to find these slobbering, sloppy, shoe chewing puppies we now call family.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence, Missouri. Email her at