Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dog toys -- and owners -- get frazzled

Princeton loves all of his many toys

My Great Dane puppy Princeton has many toys that came with him from the breeder, and he loves them all. I have to carry one around with me at all times to stuff in his mouth when he tries to bite me or chew on something he’s not supposed to. I try to keep at least one toy in every room, just in case.

Trying to keep the stuffed-animal toys nice, clean and organized is hopeless. I read advice that says to rotate the puppy’s toys so he doesn’t get bored. But these toys rotate themselves! They’re always disappearing, and then I find them a few days later hiding under some furniture.

All the dog toys quickly get frayed, dragged through the dirt outside, and/or peed on. I am reminded of the class children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It has wisdom about how a toy becomes Real when it has been loved to the point of being worn out. A favorite quote, spoken by a wise old toy to the Velveteen Rabbit:

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." Click here for more of the story.

Princeton is definitely making his toys Real. I also feel frazzled as I chase him around the house in clothes that are muddy from playing in the yard with him, with little rips from where he’s bitten my sleeves and pant legs. My pants bulge because my pockets are full of dog treats and toys. I think that Princeton is making me Real, too.


Lindsay said...

What a lucky dog with all those toys. Good idea to keep one in every room. He will be less likely to chew your stuff if he knows he has his own toys.

KC said...

The monks of New Skete recommend giving the dog just one or two toys so that they won't think that there are many chewable items in the world. But that sounds like monastic asceticism to me. Otherwise they wrote a good book called "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend."

Anonymous said...

I buy two the same each time, and put one up. She has a cane basket that holds them.. her favourites are anything that dangles or flops. Ive taken to getting mine from the op-shop, far cheaper