Any dog or cat owner will speak of a favored toy that, in the course of being gnawed, shredded, punctured, torn, eviscerated, has become an indispensable companion to their pet. They will recount with wonder their pet's specific manner of ravaging this toy, or even try to convince you that a deliberate pattern of transformation is at work. But do they ever really see this bedraggled object of their beloved pet's desire?
For our new photo book "Chewed," we decided to take a close look at these comically distorted creatures. We began by coaxing these casualties of tough love from pet-owning friends. Soon we were swamped with boxes containing plush animals, rubber squeakies and unidentifiable bits and pieces. We photographed these slobbery victims in a formal yet humorous style as seen through the eyes of the adoring pet.
Below are excerpts from delightful and poignant short stories by contributors who were inspired by their favorite "Chewed" photograph: visit www.chewedbook.com.
Though Bunny is now missing the upper half of its body, one can easily imagine the lack of hesitation Dog displayed as it plucked Bunny's black button eyes from its face, the satisfying snap of thread as the flat discs popped from the soft skull.
The entire head was obviously devoured. And no matter how cute those floppy, bent-at-the-tip ears may have been, they were not cute enough to stop Dog from seizing and pulverizing them with his wolf-powered, drooling, gaping maw.
Bunny's throat was gleefully sawed open with inch-long front incisors, esophagus stuffing flying through the room as Dog shook his head violently, rabidly from side to side.
Torso? Gone. Belly? Gone...
Never get divorced in California. When they say you split everything down the middle, they mean everything. What hurt most is that I was there from the beginning - a corny Hollywood story you've heard a million times, but I really thought they were different. I'd been a prize in the free throw game at the Santa Monica pier for almost a year; it's not that nobody wanted me, they all did, but I was always just out of reach (10 in a row), til he came along, Johnny Nesbitt...
Q. *Gracie. What happened?
A. I can't remember the details. I blanked out. But I'll be honest I loved every minute of it. We'd been polite for years and then one day *Georgie just lost it and he started going for it.
Q. Is there any part of it you regret?
A. In my line of work it's what you expect. You come off the assembly line fresh and fluffy and you pray for this to happen. I don't know how I can explain it to you except to say it's what I'm created for.
Q. But from the looks of things there was violence.
A. Violence? Are you kidding? Try Ecstasy!
Q. Did you learn anything?
A. I learned to surrender. To live my life. I faced my worst fears and was delighted with the outcome. Okay maybe I'm not as beautiful as I was ten years ago but who is? I considered plastic surgery but I hate it. It's so obvious and desperate. Better to look your age...
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