Sunday, March 10, 2013

Indestructible: Not


         My dog cannot read. I keep buying toys for him which have labels that say they are “indestructible” and “tear resistant.” Within hours the toy stuffing is scattered around the house resembling a light winter snow. Again today I had to sweep the carpet of toy fragments before vacuuming the pieces that threatened to be ground permanently into the carpet.
         Most of the labels are in English and Spanish. They need to start writing them in Canine.
         Whenever I bring home a new indestructible toy, my roommate and I make bets on how long it will last. Some number of hours is the standard wager.
         Little did I know I was being prophetic when I named the dog “Bart” after the hyperactive, misadventure-prone middle child of The Simpsons. I should have picked something heroic, but Superman, Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman just did not seem appropriate for the energetic puppy. That puppy has grown into the name and has maintained puppy levels of energy like no dog I have ever owned. I had never encountered a Pug/Boston Terrier cross before, so I had no idea what I was in for.
         Clearly the toy manufacturers have never encountered one either. Whenever I first present him with a new toy that contains any kind of stuffing, he strategically picks a point to start chewing and persists until he has worked his way through the fabric, and then, just like with a runner in hose, he rips a hole large enough for him to pluck out every thread of filling. He remains perfectly happy with the floppy dismembered shreds of fabric and will carry it around like a trophy and bring it to us for play.
         I am probably cursing myself by writing it, but also like his namesake, Bart is genuinely good at heart and far smarter than he is given credit for being. He routinely destroys his toys, but he does not touch other items around the house that could be destroyed and could be mistaken for one of his toys. He knows what is safe to touch and what is not.
         A truly indestructible pet toy has become my holy grail. Like the elusive vessel for crusaders of history, it remains undiscovered. Despite the setbacks to date, I keep pressing forward, certain that it will be found. Until then, my broom and vacuum stay busy.
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