Chewing has been one of the greatest pleasures in my life so far.

When I was a puppy I remember that the world was full of strange and exciting smells and objects. The best way to find out more about what they were like was to give them a good chew and then I could taste and smell them properly. Is it edible? Is it alive? With a bit of effort you can eat most things I’ve found, even stones and coal, although they don’t taste very good. The other thing I remember is that my teeth and gums used to hurt a lot and chewing made me forget about that for a while or even make it go away sometimes.

Leather is a great thing to chew. It smells amazing, goes all soggy in your mouth and lasts for ages. Not only that but some of the leather things I found smelled of my family as they’d been round humans’ feet, which was even better as it made me feel close to them. The legs of the things they sit on were good too as they are really hard and fit neatly into my mouth. When I chewed those, little bits would come off and the whole thing changed to an even better shape for chewing. After a while though when I wanted to chew them they started to smell of something bitter and disgusting and that stopped me. It was OK though as there was always something else around for me to get my teeth into.

As I’ve grown up I’ve given up chewing things around the house mainly but there’s still one thing I can’t resist. Flowerpots! There’s something about the way they smell so earthy and the crackle they make when you bite them. It’s easy to get the soil and stuff out with a quick shake and then you can put your nose right inside and sniff really deeply. I like to start chewing round the edge and work my way to the base of the pot until it’s just a chewy strip. Rolling in the mud afterward is the final joy. I can keep the smells with me for ages that way, unless she sprays me with the hose.

Other than that the main thing I chew now is bones. The big marrowbones are the best of all. I love to tear off the meat and fat round the knobbly end first, holding it down with my paws and imagining it’s a rat! Then, when that’s all gone, I lie down and stick my tongue in the end to lick out all the marrow. It can take hours but I love every second. Usually I leave a bit rather than finish it all at once. That way the smell gets better and better over time and I always have a treat around if I feel like one. Life is good!