The first was Grover. This wasn't just any Grover. My stuffed Grover was as big as I was at 3 years old, with arms and legs that could wrap around my neck and waist, although I found they were best used to drag him with. The second was Henry Dog. I loved Henry Dog because my older cousin, Lisa, had a Henry Dog and I wanted to be cool just like her. Both of these stuffed buddies had their share of wear and tear and had to be repaired regularly by my mother. Grover, in particular had to have at least one leg sewn back on at one point.
Seka has always preferred to play with a ball, no matter the shape or size. From the second day she lived with us, she would retrieve and even catch a tennis ball. But to add variety, she has her share of squeaky toys and stuffies overflowing out of the toy basket and she does play with them regularly. I would say that 99% of the toys in the toy basket squeak.
Roxy is just discovering the joy of toys. She'll go over to the toy basket, pick through the assortment, take the chosen toy back to her bed, inspect it for defects as if she worked on some sort of assembly line, and then go back to the basket for another - repeating the process over and over again until 70% of the toys are spread across the floor. I've not figured out how to get her to pick up the toys and put them back in the basket, but I'm sure that my mom felt the same way about me when I was a kid too. She doesn't really play with too many of the toys she selects because once she realizes a toy squeaks, she's through with it. It's almost as if she doesn't want it to talk back to her. But really, who does? I don't think I would have liked Henry Dog or Grover if either one of those talked back to me. It would be a little freaky. And after seeing Child's Play 15 years ago, the dogs are lucky I let them have any realistic looking stuffed animals in the house at all.
So, I've been on a shopping mission to find toys that do not squeak. Now, this isn't all that easy as it seems all dog toy manufacturers believe that dog toys must squeak to be effective. And the truth is, while most dogs like it, they usually destroy the little plastic chirp in 10 minutes and then the toy isn't any good anyway. I have to give it to them, it's a good marketing strategy.
I know I could kill or remove the squeaker from a toy that we already have, but I'd like to find some other noise that would be attractive to Roxy. And I think I've found it, in the form of an empty water bottle. A girlfriend of mine gives empty water bottles to her 5 month old English Cream Golden Retriever puppy, Millie, and Millie destroys them in about 1.5 seconds. But puppy teeth are lethal and I don't have a chewing problem so I never thought about giving one to Roxy. However, I found this adorable sock monkey-esque canvas toy with plastic water bottle inside (which is replaceable with any old 12 oz water bottle) and decided that Roxy might like the crunching sound it makes. Needless to say, I've found her best buddy. We've been through 3 water bottles in 2 weeks.
So, while I'm still trying to find toys who's noise is something other than a high pitched squeal, for now Roxy has a new buddy (who needs a name). So far she (the purple monkey looks like a girl to me) has all her arms and legs still attached, despite being much loved.