Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Ducks

[Inspiration by Mary, who recently had a post filled with photos of real live ducks, "Christmas was JUST DUCKY!" Naturally, my version has a KatDoc twist.]

My dogs have always loved stuffed toys with squeakers, but for most of their lives, they have been too hard on them. I bought them many stuffed animals over the years (hedgehogs were their favorites) only to see $15 to $20 worth of Holofill scattered over the carpet in 10 minutes or less. I finally stopped buying them and went to longer lasting, albeit less exciting, toys.

I tried again in December, 2005, with some stuffed hippos that were less expensive than the hedgehogs. Surpisingly, the hippos lasted longer than any other stuffed toy in the past, with one surviving until Christmas of 2006. I bought two more last year, and we still have 3 Hungry Hippos in the toy chest. Amazing. I sent one to Chet Baker, on the theory that hippos were somehow superior to other stuffed animals. However, he shredded that theory, quickly and decisively. It appeared the difference was in my dogs, not in their toys.

Holly, lovin' her hippo

Since they seem to have finally outgrown their insatiable appetites for Holofill, I promised them hedgehogs for Christmas this year. Unfortunately, the pet store was out of hedgies, so I thought we might try ducks instead.

These are no artificial yellow duckies, these are anatomically correct waterfowl, bearing accurate field marks. We have a classic Mallard duck, and what appears to be a Canada Goose. The only complaint I have is that it is too small. It is the same size as the Mallard, so maybe it is a Cackling Goose instead. Both came with quackers (or honkers) rather than squeakers (although the goose is now silent.) They were a big hit.

"For me? Cool!"

The one who has the most toys wins.
Hippo, check.
Kong toy, check
Canada Goose, mmrph

"Now, I have BOTH ducks!
Who needs hippos?"

"Stuffed goose on carpet -
Better than pheasant under glass."

*Note: No ducks, hedgehogs or hippopotami were injured in the making of this blog post.*


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Katdoc. Your dogs look so happy with their toys. The dog we have now is so sweet but she is strange. She doesn't know how to play with toys. We got her from a rescue group and she must have been terribly mistreated in the past. She doesn't know how to play even tho we have had her 3 years now. Since we dog sit with a friends puppy she has taken a little bit of interest with his toys in that she will take them to the other room so we don't play with him. Ha... The poor dear. I don't think she will ever change.

Mary said...

I'm laughing like a nut here. Your dogs look so elegant and mature, and now to see them acting like goofy Boston Terriers makes my day! I love the narratives, Kathi.

I've spent a few hundred dollars on plush toys for my dogs over the years. They get torn to smithereens within minutes and I shake my head.

Their favorite was "Mean Kitty" which was supposed to be a tough little toy. NOT!

Glad they are happy with the duckies!

Susan Gets Native said...

I have nothing to say about dog toys here...
Kathy. There are FOUR short-eared owls at Armleder.
You are off tomorrow? GO. SEE. THE. OWLS.

Kathy said...

I love the pictures of your dogs and their toys! My shepherd mix dog isn't too hard on her toys, but my terrier mix dog loves to rip and tear until she gets the squeakers out, the ears and eyes off, etc.

Sara said...

I love the picture of Holly and her Hippo, so sweet. The other toys are really nice too.

Recently, I was happy to find a brand of pet toys made in the USA, WestPaw (West Paw Design) from Bozeman, Montana. With the recent pet food problems, I also became concerned about the safety of imported toys. Kathi, what is your opinion of this issue ?

Thanks, Sara

KatDoc said...


I really don't know anything about the safety of pets toys, either imported or domestically produced. Like all toys we give our children (human or otherwise) I look for sturdy toys that are the correct level of hardness and are size-appropriate (a small ball for a Chihuahua could be swallowed by a Lab), and that don't have parts that are easily removed. Then, I supervise my dogs with any new toy, until I am sure it is safe.

In this current global market, it is a real challenge to find items that are made in the USA, and to be honest, I don't really look at where my dog toys come from.