Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Buddy

Like many little girls, I had my share of stuffed animals. They filled my toy box and covered the bed in my room. I had a special order I preferred to see them arranged in, based on who I thought would get along best with whom. I mean, it's obvious that the brown bear would be friends with the polar bear and the white fluffy dog should probably be separated from the baby tiger. Yes from a young age I had a problem with anthropomorphism. While I had several stuffed animals to play with, there were only two that were special enough to take turns going EVERYWHERE with me.

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.


KF-in-Georgia said...

Where did you find the monkey? Squeaky toys last about 30 seconds around here.

Anonymous said...

we get kid toys from garage sales. many have a rattle sound inside. t and o aren't big chewers; they just chomp. my baby toys have lasted over a year and they're cheap. oh, and they come with smells dogs like. i can't smell them, but they are instantly loved. i think there's spittle permanently infused. i have also heard that if you take an old film canister and put something in it, wrap it up and sew it in, that works, too.

nice monkey.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'll make you a deal. You buy the toys, mine can destroy the squeakers, and then we'll give them back to you "used, but improved". :-).

This toy has a removable squeaker. You can stuff treats into the pouch or just leave it empty.


Denise said...

MONKEY! that is one ugly buddy! I used to have an old stuffed dog that we called old puppy and one day I flung him out the car window on a busy Dallas highway and cried and cried when we couldn't go back and get hiim...:-(

Bethanie & Chris said...

Monkey is cute. I think Roxy should name her Violet.

Trina said...

Dante is an incessant squeaker! Drives everyone nuts! Dana likes the ones that make 'real noises'..she crunches them like a twig instantly. she loves them..
Monkey is nice..although mine continue to play with them after the squeaker is done..they like the ones with floppy arms and legs. Good thing I don't have cats.....:-)