But not all of his plots are as complex. Usually it’s a straight up assassination. When I say I have an independent dog that can amuse himself, I don’t mean that I find him at the dining table working on the New York Times Crossword Puzzle or proving the existence of the Higgs particle. I mean that single-handedly and one by one, he eviscerates toys, spewing their stuffing across the living room, and ending up with squeakers that need to be extracted from his gullet.
It wasn’t until he went to daycare where I presume some other dog was like, “Dude, no, you don’t eat the squeaker,” that he ceased trying to consume whatever hard, plastic, intestine-ripping item he had removed from a destroyed toy. Prior to that, we spent much of his play time with my hand wrist-deep down his throat.
Dogs should always be supervised during play. How much supervision depends on how much of a control freak you are and how much your dog doesn’t understand his own mortality. In my situation, both variables are quite high. Yet another reason I love my dog: he’s fearless. However, this also means I need to have a healthy dose of fear for him. Luckily he’s a sturdy dog, he's got a stocky frame, and is well-muscled and quite flexible despite his blocky chassis. My fear level is low when he barrels through the yard at 60 mph, fumbles the ball, skids across the grass, flips over, and scrapes against a tree. Falling off the two and a half foot high deck is also of little concern for me. But eating plastic squeakers—or in some cases, full toys—is on my list of highly plausible hazards.
In reviewing these items, I’m not just looking at sustainability, length of life, and how much fun the toy is, but how much worry I have about the innards he’s ultimately going to have between his teeth before I yank them out. I don’t have a star-rated system as I’m not a black and white, yes or no type person. I can justify anything. And, for most people, even if the toy fails for me, may not fail for you. I provide my experience, and let you decide if you think you’ll have a similar one or not.
Let’s begin in the early days….