This has got to be the saddest picture of a dog I’ve ever seen. It broke my heart to see Luce, a Border collie spaniel, literally in tears. Her owner gave her away after she chewed through the fiberglass wheel arch of his US $130,000 sports car last Wednesday.
42-year-old builder Royston Grimstead, from Chedzoy, Somerset, said he was devastated when he came home to find his dog had chewed through the fiberglass wheel arch of his beloved Aston Martin. The total damage was worth about $5,000.
Grimstead, a divorcee, said he was already considering re-homing Luce because she did not get along with his other dog, a 10-year-old border collie called Jess. “She must have overheard me talking about re-homing her because she’s normally friendly and never really chewed on anything before,” he said.
“I came home and saw her covered in white stuff and I thought she had got a bird and it was feathers – but it was fiberglass from the car. She had chewed out a huge chunk. I just laughed. I mean, what else could I do? I’m not a crier and she knew she had done something wrong because she had a guilty look on her face.”
Although he had her for three years, Grimstead, appears not to have wasted a second – he put up an ad on a dog re-homing website and gave Luce away the very next day. “I didn’t tell the new owners what she had done,” he said. “I expect when they hear I’ll find Luce back on my doorstep.”
Helen Stone, a dog behavior expert who works as a canine welfare trainer at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, said she was surprised at the damage done to the car. “It’s quite an extensive amount of damage.” But she explained that dogs sometimes get stressed out too.
“A lot of the time, dogs that have issues being left alone will chew door frames and cabinets and things like that – I think we have seen a lot worse damage when people have brought dogs to us, but not a car like that,” she said.
Stone also said that this was very unusual behavior in Luce’s case. “If she’s normally fine to be left alone it seems like something will have happened to her, some stress or something, when he was out. We always say it is important that owners give their dogs something that they are happy to chew on when on their own and things to do to keep them busy when their owners are out.”
Well, Grimstead appears to have done none of that. His beloved vehicle is insured against the damage, and he will be getting it fixed next week.