Way back when we knew we were getting Beanie, we bought her a toy to play with in her last week or so at Newlin Beagles. This wasn’t purely indulgence – as we’d handled the toy before Benaie got it we hoped it would help familiarize her with our scent, and when she came to our home it would bring the comforting scent of her littermates with her. Now that Biggles is going to be joining us, we headed off to Pets at Home to do the same for him.
We settled on a rope ring with four textured balls on it – it looked to be fairly robust, and the different textures should make for an engrossing chewing experience. Unfortunately we had no idea just how engrossing.
Once back home, we handed the toy to Beanie to get her scent on it. It was an immediate hit, and got Beanie’s full attention.
The chewing quickly grew more intense..
.. and after taking a couple of photos I made a mental note to rescue the toy fairly soon, just in case it couldn’t stand up to a prolonged Beanie session. After all, not many things can. Unfortunately I left the toy in Beanie’s clutches just a little too long, and Susan found a trail of debris on the landing ten minutes later.
So one more visit to the pet shop was on the cards. This time we got a simpler, and surely more robust chew/tug toy:
Rhino – sounds just the thing for a tough little Beagle boy doesn’t it? Beanie’s jaws of death didn’t get hold of it this time – we just handled it a bit and sent it straight off to Biggles. But another toy caught Susan’s eye – a treat jar on a rope. This one would be solely for Beanie – it is her Birthday soon after all!
The bottom of the jar unscrews for loading, and it has lots of air holes to allow the smell of the treats to escape. The dog has his work cut out to get extract the treats though. He has to push the knotted rope down into the jar a little (otherwise the knot blocks the jar’s neck), and jiggle the treats down to towards the neck end by tilting the lower end up. I honestly didn’t think Beanie would be up to the task – that one brain cell of hers usually only comes up with a single strategy: brute force. Can’t open the baby gate into our office? Just chew your way through. Can’t open a jacket pocket to extract some week-old treat debris? Chew the jacket! You get the picture.
And yet, to my amazement, she’s become quite expert with this toy.
Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that it’s showing no sign of damage even after two days of full-on abuse.
I’m hoping that something else will survive Beanie’s attention. To help Biggles cope with our new laminate floor we’ve bought a set of black interlocking rubber mats – kind of like the ones you find in gyms – only way cheaper and therefore not as robust. So far Beanie hasn’t shown any signs of wanting to chew it, and she can run on it without any skidding, so if it lasts the week we’ll get a bit more to make some slip-free play areas for the two of them.