Monday, August 16, 2010

Homemade Dog Toy #4

So there's a lot of back story to this toy. When Brodie was a little baby dog he knew exactly what was his and what was not, which was great for us, most of the time. But he also loved to make a game of it. When I would ball up my socks and put them in the drawer he would snatch a pair and take off running. I would call him back and make him give it. He would look at me out of the corner of his eye, wait for me to turn my head and then snatch a pair and run. Then when I would think I was done, he would come stand in front of me and just look up at me like, "Well?" and I would say "What?" and he just continued staring at me. "What?" nothing. Then I would notice a little piece of white from the edge of his lip. He had a whole ball of socks shoved in his mouth and he was waiting for me to notice him. When I would fold the towels and put them in the cabinet under the sink he would wait for me to look the other way and then snatch one and take off running. So Mr. Brodie loved snatching our things, but he had the habit of saying "that's mine" when it came to his stuff. So when I would fold laundry he would see me fold his fleece blankets when I was folding our towels. He would just tremble in anticipation as I folded his blanket. As soon as it was folded I would hold it out to him and he would take it and run off with it, eventually bringing it back. Sometimes I was able to get him to put it in his kennel, but mostly not. This obsession, with having his newly clean and folded blankets immediately, continued for years. Although now he usually just takes them from me and sets them on the floor and waits for the next one. Well the other day he did happen to run into the other room with the blanket in his mouth. Bradley saw this and thought "Oh goodie, a game." They started playing tug-of-war, I don't care because they are not bothering me which is rare these days, and I let them go on. Then I hear the blanket start to tear. So I go in and tell them "no more." This Bradley does not understand. I put the blanket in Brodie's new doggie bed and and explain to him (as if he were Brodie and I could just explain things) that "this is Brodie's blanket for his bed just like you have a blanket for your bed." Later Bradley is running through the house with same blanket. Repeat explanation, repeat running scene. etc. etc. So I go get this orange blanket that is in tatters and barely hanging on. It was Brodie's first ever blanket. He chewed it to pieces. There are holes all in it. He pulled all of the trim off of it. I learned a lot about picking out a blanket for a dog's bed from Brodie. I learned that you just go buy some fleece by the yard at Walmart. Anyway, I take this blanket and tell both boys to sit and listen. "From this moment on I formally declare that this blanket will henceforth be a toy. You may play and chew on this blanket and this blanket only." Brodie nods his head in total understanding and Bradley drools. They take the blanket and play. Then Bradley begins to play with Brodie's bed blanket again. I put it back in the bed and say "no, that is a blanket." And I kid you not, Bradley looks over his shoulder at the orange blanket and I swear a little bubble popped up over his head saying "But that's a blanket too?" So, I tie a big knot in the middle of the orange blanket. Then I make a cut down each side, which is still folded. On those strips I make two knots each. I tried to give it as much of a tug toy look as I could. They loved it. There was no more blanket/toy confusion. Bradley has dragged that thing all over the house. They play with it more than any store bought toy we have. And I know there are expensive fleece tug toys out there, but you could make one for the price of 1/2 a yard of fleece.

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