My Dog Ate My CPAP Mask
To lots of people in my life, the fact that my puppy ate my continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask was a source of some hilarity. But, as it turned out, it wasn’t so funny for me. So I hope if you are a CPAP user, I can save you the time, stress, and money my CPAP-munching dog caused me.
My kids wanted a dog
I have been using a CPAP for 13 years. In that time, we have never had pets in the house, aside from the odd hamster. When my girls, 8 and 13, started asking for a puppy last year, they were not messing around. My older daughter, Katie, prepared a PowerPoint presentation that she presented after dinner one night.
We were in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning my children had been homeschooled and cut off from their friends. Katie waxed lyrically about the positive impact a puppy could have on her mental health during this uncertain time. She had researched all kinds of hypoallergenic dog breeds to accommodate my allergies to pet dander.
It was a losing battle (for me!)
My objections to owning a dog included, but were not limited to, the expense, the barking noise, and the disruption to sleep for me and other family members during the puppy stage. For each objection, my daughter had a concise and persuasive rebuttal.
Towards the end of our discussion, I realized that my husband had been subject to extensive lobbying from both children and was now on their side. So with 3 against 1, I gave up arguing and relented.
Puppy love at first sight
The waitlist for the ridiculously expensive, hypoallergenic Mini Goldendoodle we had chosen was more than 6 months. So long to wait for the girls but a nice reprieve for me. I don't need to tell you that I fell in love with our puppy, Bear, almost right away.
All the rules we made ahead of time seemed to fall by the wayside. I thought we should have a "no dogs on the sofa" rule until Bear wanted to snuggle with me!
Initially, I had a gate on the bedroom door to keep the new puppy out of my room. I didn't really consider my CPAP equipment being in danger of turning into a chew toy because this gate was up.
The first sign of trouble
As time went on and Bear became potty trained, I became less concerned and removed the gate from my bedroom. As a Mini Goldendoodle, we didn't expect Bear to get as big as he has. I didn't realize he had grown big enough to jump onto our king-size bed until it was too late.
The first time he ate my CPAP mask, it was just a silicone cushion which was due to be replaced soon anyway. I told Bear I wasn't pleased, and I decided to start hanging my CPAP mask up higher on the side of our bed frame. There was no way this little dog could reach up there...was there?
CPAP mask expenses adding up
It turned out that our small dog's vertical leap was pretty impressive. The next time he ate my CPAP mask, I assumed the mask had fallen off the side of the bed frame. So, when I replaced the mask (an out-of-pocket expense), I thought that I was careful to hang up the mask after wearing it, everything would be fine.
Everything was not fine. Somehow Bear maneuvered his way behind my bedside table to pull on the CPAP hose and demolished another CPAP mask.
But in all seriousness...
Although dogs eating CPAP masks sounds funny to begin with, the expense involved in replacing damaged equipment can mount up quickly. I'm in a fortunate position to have medical insurance and have the ability to afford any out-of-pocket expenses necessary.
However, there are millions of people who either do not have medical insurance or simply cannot afford out-of-pocket medical expenses. That is why I think it's vital to spread the word about this problem, to save others the annoyance and expense I've been dealing with.
Have you had to replace CPAP equipment after your dog ate it? Share your experience below.
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