What makes you tick?


There’s nothing better than a playmate when you want to have fun. Brian plays with all dogs, Lily has chosen few. Brian and Dolly’s favourite game is ‘envy’. Pick an object, show off, pretending it’s the most precious toy in the world. The other player chases you trying to steal it.

‘envy’ in action
it might look like an ordinary stick to an amateur
but, in reality, it’s the Object of Envy

Lily is fussy about her toys. She likes her hedgehogs, as many as possible, she builds a fortress with them and then unstitches them methodically. We replace the ‘dealt with’ hedgehogs often, they are soft, stuffed toys so keeping a ripped one is risky.

Lily’s army of hedgehogs

I buy a lot of toys. It’s my way of making up (to myself rather than to the dogs) for the fact I have the ‘unwanted’ dogs. It makes me feel better. But I know no toy can compensate for the lack of company. So I participate in the play as much as I can. I play tug-of-war with Brian (and Lily, using the hedgehogs), I chase them, I throw toys and ask them to bring the toy back (doesn’t work with Lily and her hedgehogs). I make a lot of noise, go down to their level and let them win sometimes. They are learning by playing, but so do I. I know the types of toys they like, I know their styles of playing. I adapt the toys (shape, size, material, noisiness) to their tastes as well as their ages, sizes, activity levels. I also make Brian toys and he likes them more than the most sophisticated, shop bought ones, which makes me happy.

It’s not a post about how to choose a toy, but I feel the urge to add: make sure your dog’s toys are safe for him (her). If you buy them, check for certificates (CE should be a must) and use your common sense (ignore colours, the less paint/dye the better, no small detachable parts, no strong, artificial smell). Or, if you’re like me: support local craft or make your own.

no toys needed when you have a playmate 🙂
the Game of Circles

22 thoughts on “What makes you tick?

  1. I have yet to find a perfect toy for Tippy that she can’t destroy in 5 minutes. She loves tug of war, but I don’t play very often because she weighs 65 pounds and plays rough. I usually wind up with blood coming from somewhere from an accidently scratch or bite. LOL

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    1. I don’t actually like when the toys last too long (I know it’s weird, but I kind of like replacing them). We’ve had Tuffy’s toys, they last very long. And kongs. Or buy marine or climbing rope and make them 🙂 Though, the proper rope is not cheap 😦

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  2. I love anecdotes and pics of Lily and her hedgehogs!

    It’s amazed me that wee Fergus doesn’t seek to destroy his toys. He has favorites, of course, some are for chewing, some for tug of war and/or throwing (which often turns into a rousing game of keep-away where I have to chase him to “get that toy!” All so I can throw it again, and the chase is on.) But, he doesn’t go for getting the squeakers out like so many dogs. He loooooves the squeakers IN the toys. So, that’s a relief. There are some softer plush toys that don’t hold up so well that I’ve repaired — one Lambchop in particular has one leg pretty much missing, so is now called Lambchopped. Like you, I can’t resist adding to his toys because we both get so much enjoyment playing with them. By evening, my house looks like his toy box exploded. 🙄

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  3. The photo of the fortress of hedgehogs made me giggle out loud, love it! I love buying toys too for Bonnie – when we first got her she didn’t know how to play, she even ate the stuffing from toys but eventually she learned how to properly destuff her toys and that she didn’t have to worry about her next meal to feel the need to eat stuffing!

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    1. None of my dogs (adult rescues) knew how to play when I got them. It’s the best thing in the world when they learn and, even if clumsily, attempt to do it. I like watching Lily arranging the hedgehogs. She doesn’t let Brian play with them at all. I’m glad Bonnie has found a loving home and you 🙂

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