Has this ever happened to you? You’ve finished dinner, cleaned up and now are settling into your favorite puzzling chair to get going on a fun evening of puzzling. You have been working on this particular puzzle for 3 weeks now, most every evening spending 2-3 hours on this 1500 piece monster that has loads of sky, water and grass.
As you get excited at the thought of finally completing the puzzle, a strong love/hate relationship has been built over the time spent together, out of the corner of your eye you spot some movement. Could it be? Did your beloved Beagle somehow make it past your puzzle fortress(i.e. a pet gate) and is approaching your custom puzzle table? Before you could respond, your dog has jumped up on a chair and grabbed 5 pieces off the table and run out of the room. As you give chase, Johnny slowly chomps down, pretty much ruining your chance of ever completing the puzzle (at least with the original pieces). 10 minutes later you are left with 2 pieces ground to a pulp and 3 others that look like an impression you might get at the dentist. How could this have happened and what should you do to prevent it from happening again?
A Few Sample Pieces Damaged By Pets
(Click to enlarge)
While having a pet gate (if possible) usually does the trick. In the case of Johnny, he seems to have found a way around it, but usually that should do a good job of protecting your prized puzzles. Beyond that here are some other ideas:
1) We use portable puzzling trays that have lips all around the edge that prevent pieces from falling off the table (another great way pets discover, and enjoy, puzzle pieces!).
2) We also have a large zippered case that allows the portable tray to be sealed and closed up, a great way to keep pets, small kid’s hands and other ways pieces magically disappear. We use a Jigsort, but you could probably also use a large portfolio case that artists use, as long as the thickness is ok.
3) Check under the table after every puzzling session! It’s amazing how easy it is for a little wood puzzle knob to cling on to a cuff and the next thing you know the piece is dropped on the floor, once again waiting for Johnny to find and destroy.
3a) When putting the puzzle away, also make sure you check under the table, pieces can fall that way.
Hopefully, with a little change in your puzzling routine you will be able to prevent Johnny from becoming a puzzle thief and you will never have to tell someone that a dog ate your puzzle!
Here are some pictures of pieces we have come across that have been destroyed or damaged by pets. Save the puzzles, keep the pieces safe!