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Itchy Dogs: A Rant

I love my dogs. I have two Rat Terriers. Charlie and Maple. Maple is the headstrong alpha female, Charlie likes to be on the couch, sleeping. This is my rant.

Charlie has allergies and his paws, in time with spring, are turning into red itch-bombs. That is now his favorite activity: chewing on his paws. He is so bad that when we tell him not to do it, he slinks off to another room to carry on unnoticed. I feel bad for him, and last year we tried medicine, creams, powders and behavior techniques. The bottom line is, the dog's feet itch like crazy and nothing helps. As bad as I feel for him, the constant licking and juicy sucking noises always coming from his location are almost unbearable.

Anyone who's ever owned a good dog knows how they want to be with you at every available moment. Underfoot, behind you, underneath you, dogs will be as close to you as possible. And often without any regard for safety or personal space. Although Maple will literally follow me every step of my day, Charlie won't get off the couch unless he senses you have committed to another room entirely. So this morning, around 2AM, I was awakened by a constant slurping and gnawing sound coming from the far side of the bed. As irritation grew in my mind, it suddenly solidified into one cohesive thought: that dog is chewing on his paws. I can even feel the bed shaking slightly with his chewing. It is among the most irritating sounds ever, especially when you hear it all day, day after day. Charlie is unstopable in his quest for itch relief, and I feel his pain, however, he does not have a daughter, a job, or a dog with a near obsessive penchant for attacking its own feet. When you combine his feet chewing with his need to be in the same room, the situation quickly loses any sympathetic value.

I'm done. Any suggestions for this common canine problem?