Thanks to the All Things Dog Blog

Today I got a fun prize in the mail! The All Things Dog Blog Snoopy Prize Drawing chose us as their winner, and today we received a gift box full of fun things! Thanks to Carrie Boyko so much for the gift!  I grew up loving Snoopy and most of my papers from Junior High feature doodles of Snoopy as the Red Baron,  leaning into the wind, with his goggles firmly in place and scarf flying wildly behind him.  I used to draw all the Peanuts characters, but Snoopy was my favorite.

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Our favorite mystery winter toy

Last night, I dreamed it was spring. Green, lush, glorious spring. I awoke and looked out the window, and everything was so green. It was like a miracle! Or a dream!  I woke up, and said to my husband, “I dreamed it was spring!” and he laughed. Then I looked out the window and it was spring! The yard was green and full of animals passing by in procession: lions, bears, bear cubs, foxes… so wonderful.  So weird.

Then I really woke up. Dogs pouncing on the bed to wake me, sticking their cold nose in my face, insisting on lying on top of me. Back to reality, back to winter. Blech.  Need coffee.

I really shouldn’t live in Boston. I know that now. I was born here, it’s home. Eight months out of the year, I love it here. This is not one of those months. The winter is dragging on and I’m done with it. Of course I’m not alone. Everybody is sick of winter and ready for spring.  Stupid, lying groundhog! Read more

Wordless Wednesday: Dreaming of Spring

Yeah, there’s still 3 feet of snow out there, but this is what I see when I close my eyes… ahhhhh.

Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy

Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy

I love the idea of puzzle toys for dogs.  Dog toys that exercise the brain and give the dog a challenge to work through can be beneficial in many ways:

  • Help dogs learn to focus on a task for extended periods
  • Teach targeting to specific objects
  • Provide interactive playtime for dog and owner
  • Occupy a dog for a while when you are busy
  • Build self confidence for succeeding in a task

I’m sure others can add to this list.  One of the first puzzle toys I can remember was the Buster Cube… remember that one?  It was a hard plastic cube with an adjustable hole that dispensed treats when the dog moved it, dropped it, rolled it.  I think we still have it here, somewhere. My dog Seamus loved it.  It was a noisy toy, unless used outside on the grass on in a carpeted room.  But of course, Seamus loved to carry it into the kitchen and drop it on the hard wood floor to make it bounce and release more treats.  It drove me crazy after a while!

Lately, some interesting puzzle toys have hit the market and we are hoping to try out a few of them.  Our first puzzle toy is the Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel, which is a plush toy “tree trunk” with holes and three little squeakered squirrels (that look more like chipmunks to me) that you can “hide” in the trunk.  The dog is supposed to figure out how to get the squirrels out of the holes. Read more

Woodland Amigos by “think! dog play”

Woodland Amigos cheap toy at Costco

Durability Rating: [Rating:1/5]

I’m a sucker for cheap stuff, I admit, so when I saw the Woodland Amigos 3 Pack Dog Toys by “think! dog play” on sale at Costco (with a coupon) for about $5.00, it seemed like a slam dunk.  Especially since the box stated, “Pet parents suggested – We listened! Now you can have these great toys with reinforced fabric, making the toys much more durable! Enjoy!”

It was cheap and they stated the toys were durable… I took the bait.  Silly me!

I gave the three toys to the dogs last night around 7:30… by 8:30, the stuffing was already flying.  First, Cassie bit the little tails off, then went for the jugular to get the squeaker.  Once she had gotten inside, I took a look at the “reinforced fabric.”  Yes, there was a second bit of thin fabric in there… I suppose that is what they mean by reinforced.  Also the squeakers were sewed into a fabric pouch, which made it easier to get them away from the dogs before they chewed the plastic squeaker.

But, holy cow, there’s a lot of stuffing to pull out of these toys!  Stuffing was everywhere!  When Moxie shook the toy, it reminded me of one of those pillow fights you see on tv… it was practically snowing fluff in my living room!

Three dead amigos and a big pile of amigo guts

I am still picking up stuffing, but I wanted to show you the pile so far.   The dogs had a blast killing these toys, don’t get me wrong.   But even at $5.00, these toys have an extremely short shelf life, and a big mess to pick up.  Save your money!

Interestingly, on the bottom of the box, it states, “CAUTION: It is recommended that dogs be supervised when playing with all toys.  Remove the toy from the pet immediately if any part becomes loose or detached. This product is not to be consumed.”  Do all pet toy manufacturers use the same lawyers?