Yesterday Luke was in a funk; I wasn't sure what it was, a sore neck, over tired or what.  Late in the morning he got up out of our bed and moved down to the couch in the living room.  It started to pour so our regular walk was cancelled.  While I was on the computer later during the morning I realized that he had not followed me upstairs, weird.  He ate breakfast but was not in a good mood.  So when my husband and I  were out at HomeGoods looking for new rugs I searched the dog toy area.  Like anyone who isn't having a good day; something special is in order.

I chose cats; I got one for Luke and one for Tilley, Jessie no longer acknowledges toys.  Terry cloth stuffed cats with squeakers in them.  $4.99 each, not bad for brand new big sized toys.  My boy just needed a new toy this morning; I new that it would cheer him up.  When we got home I quietly squeaked the toy from behind him; his face lit up and he was so excited.  I gave him and Tilley their toys and they happily chomped them for at least an hour. 

Many people never get their dog toys; they feel that it is a human thing and not necessary for dogs.  But toys for dogs are so important; it doesn't matter what the toy is as long as it is something to play with.  Luke played with his toy; squeaking it which obviously triggers a prey instinct.  The more it squeaks the more he chomps the toy until he rips a tiny hole and the fluff demolition begins.  He rips and tears at it until it lies dead on the floor, empty and lifeless.  It is then that the toy becomes an object of tug-o-war.  It no longer makes noise; it has no more stuffing to be removed so now we pull at it. 

Toys don't have to cost a lot of money; I regularly buy yards of fleece and make my own toys.  I sometimes get sick of the fluff all over the house so I braid great toys for them.  Luke knows when I'm braiding a toy and if it happens to be a toy for someone else, he's not happy about it.  A few pieces of fabric braided together bring so much joy; he can barely contain himself through the braiding process.  He often sits only an inch away from me biting at the toy every so often until I finally tell him to stop, seriously. 

Dogs are dogs and they need prey; for our modern dogs that is often toys.  If they don't have toys unfortunately they will find their own prey and it may be in the form of a water hose, your couch, a few pillows, your favorite shoes or the children's toys but they find some.  Toys are very important, different textures, sounds, shapes and sizes.  The more toys you have the less chance of your stuff becoming toys.  Our dogs need outlets for their dog behaviors and toys are a great substitute for live prey running around to chase or a game of tug with a carcass. 

I shop at the discount stores for our toys; better toys at good prices.  Today it was two cats; next time who knows what.  Even with a basket full of toys; a new toy was in order today.  As I write this blog Luke is laying beside me de-stuffing his new cat and loving every second of it.  :)