She has three Nylabones--one handed down by Riley and Boscoe, and two kind of funky crooked ribbed ones that we bought her. One is supposedly bacon-flavored. She is intensely interested in chewing, but she isn't interested in chewing those.
More sticks, please, she says. She also has a stuffed Kong stick that we actually bought for Riley (who never played with it), but she only chews it now and then, and only to be polite. More sticks, she says. If you don't mind. Real ones.
She has a multitude of stuffed fleece creatures, all hand-me-downs that I put through the wash the night she came home. She loves the stuffed lamb, and the stuffed rabbit, and she really loves the stuffed raccoon, and even though she loves tug of war, she does not show any interest at all in the fleece pull, nor the rope pull, even when they are dangled in front of her pert little nose.
"Put that rope pull down and give me a stick."
Yesterday I made her a toy, following the directions from the puppy kindergarten teacher--an empty plastic water bottle stuffed into an old tube sock. Even I can follow those directions! Even I have those ingredients! She loves it; the plastic bottle, when chewed, makes excellent and intriguing crackling noises, and the sock is great for pulling.
She has a tiny pink Kong that is stuffed with kibble and peanut butter, and has been for two weeks now. She loves the Kong but doesn't seem to realize that part of it is edible. She just likes batting it, crouching down and watching it, and then pouncing on it.
She has a whole bunch of tennis balls, tossed over the side fence by the neighbors. She loves them. She is great at retrieving them, though she is more interested in retrieving inside than outside, where there are so many other distractions. (Such as: Sticks.)
Even indoors she takes a detour with each retrieval, stopping to hide underneath the coffee table, which she is going to outgrow very soon.
Note scorned Nylabones on tabletop.
She also has two bigger plastic balls that squeak--one red, one green--which Doug's staff gave him for Christmas, or maybe for his birthday; it doesn't matter because it's the same day.
Her favorite toys, though, cannot be purchased: Riley is No. 1, of course; she torments him endlessly, even when he growls and bares his teeth.
"I'm on my last nerve, little dog." "Wait! Let me jump on your head!"
And No. 2 is -- well, sticks. Our house is littered with twigs and bits of bark and splinters and shards of wood and weird knobby sticks and really prickly sticks that must be from the rosebush. When I stoop to take them away, she leaps onto our potted Norfolk Island Pine and tries to break off a branch.
There are sticks on the back porch, the front porch, in the front hallway. I don't know where they all came from; I keep taking them away, and more keep appearing. I have been piling them up on top of the bookcase to get them out from underfoot and because I'm not sure if all that stick-chewing is harmful; she seems to swallow an awful lot of it and I keep worrying about perforated bowels. But so far there have been no problems and if this is OK I guess I should just stand down, because old dead sticks are much more of a renewable resource than, say, Nylabones or tennis balls or Riley's patience.