The Challenge of Burning Wood with Dogs

Wood box by fireplace
Wood box by the fireplace.

Living with a lot of dogs gives you experiences you never dreamed of. We have six dogs. And we live in an old house that was built in the year 1830. Since we have old, leaky walls and windows, we supplement our heat by burning wood. Most of the wood is harvested from our property. As old trees come down, my husband splits and stacks them for firewood.

For years, we have had a wood rack beside the wood burning stove and a large wood box on the porch. Wood is brought from the wood crib behind the garage, where it is stored to dry and season after splitting. We move it from there to the wood box on the porch by wheel barrow, tractor cart, or sometimes just by filling a recycling tub and dragging it to the porch. The porch wood box holds enough for 4 or 5 days of burning. This keeps wood close to house so we don’t have to go outside in the cold and snow every time we need more wood.

We had the small wood rack, and now the small wood box, beside the fireplace so we don’t have to open the door to the porch every time we want to put a few more logs on the fire. Why did we switch from the small, indoor wood rack to the indoor wood box? One word. Dogs.

Four of our six dogs have suddenly decided that they like to chew wood chips and pieces of bark. A lot. This lead to us constantly yelling “no wood” or “drop it”, because we don’t want our dogs ingesting excesses of wood. A few bits, no problem, but they were starting to chew wood all day long. Boredom, I guess, although this has not been a problem in past years. So my husband built the new wood box and we have peace again. As much peace as you ever have with six dogs. Things have been much quieter. And we are not spending time every day sweeping up wood bits that have been strewn across the floor and around the house. Good job hubby, good job!

Sheltie in front of the fireplace
Nikki in front of the fireplace.

Nikki loves the fireplace. It feels good on her 13 year old bones. She and Shelby are our two dogs who do not chew wood. Nikki can be found in front of the fireplace most of the winter months. Even when there is not a fire going, she is often to be found here. She looks like she is encouraging us to start a fire to warm her up. She loves it there so much that often, she will not move when we open the door to add more wood or work on the fire. We either have to work around or move her. I guess that is one of the benefits of being the senior dog in the pack.

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