Saturday, July 23, 2011

Living With A Dog

I know that not all dogs are like my Riley.  Some dogs have no "toys" at all.  Riley has an overflowing basket of toys and he plays with all of them.  This is the group he had out this morning.  Hippy, RhinoDino, Pook and his Kong.   I haven't checked the living room.  That's where Riley and G "play" in the morning.  I think Spidey and Teddy are out there. All of these toys once squeaked.  But Riley has strong jaws and large teeth.  The squeakers don't stand a chance.  I have replaced some of the squeakers with squeaky tennis balls.  I open a seam and stuff the tennis ball  deep inside and then sew the seam closed.  Riley usually watches me do these repairs.  He is attentive to the care and welfare of his toys.  I run them through the washer every so often to keep everything clean (ish).

Riley picks out a toy and brings it over to show G.  G calls out the toy's name and Riley gives the toy a few good shakes, a toss or two, a few chews etc.  Then G pretends to try and take the toy.  Riley plays "keep away".  Eventually, Riley goes and gets a second and third toy and they go through the routine for as many times as Riley brings out a new toy.  Some mornings I find that Riley has emptied the toy basket and the house is littered with toys.  I make a BIG FUSS of collecting the toys and stuffing them back in the toy basket.  Riley is right by my side during the clean up.

We tried, in the early days, to get Riley to return things to the basket.  Not so interested.  G and I thought that would be a "good activity" for the dog.  He'd get treats for fetching a specific toy and putting it into the toy basket.   Riley DOES know the name of each of his toys.  He just doesn't like them to be in the toy basket.

The one thing that Riley DOES want to do with his toys, is take them outside with him.  We don't let him do that.  Some times we have a stalemate at the back door.  Riley with a toy firmly in his mouth, waiting by the door to go out.  And G or I waiting for Riley to put the toy down, first.  We explain the no toys outside rule and he looks up at us.  Then he stares at the door.  We wait.  Eventually, he drops the toy and goes outside.

Riley has outside toys that don't get muddy, wet, or covered in dirt.  He also has trees that he pulls out of the woods and chews into chips.  He has real beef bones, a large rubber chew toy and a regulation soccer ball.  What he REALLY likes is having a BIG BALL out there to chase and jump on.  The Big Balls we have purchased for him have never even lasted one full minute.  The fun begins as soon as Riley sees the ball.  He chases it, jumps on it and bites it.  If we don't take the now deflated ball away quickly he chews the ball and shreds it.  I also bring sturdy, heavy duty plastic, plant pots (from shrubs and trees) home from work.  It takes Riley an hour or two to completely tear the pot into small bits.  He loves a new pot.  The pots are great fun in the first five minutes.  They roll down the slope in the yard.  He chases them and they roll around together. He carries the pot, shakes it, plays keep away (same things he does with indoor toys) but then he starts ripping and tearing the pot down.  G says this uses up large amounts of energy.  We can actually see his muscles working.

Riley is outside right now.  It's not too hot yet.  I need to go outside to pick another batch of blueberries from my bushes in the veg garden.  I think I picked a pound of berries the first day they were ripe. and now more are ripe.  They are big, blue and juicy.  Riley used to eat most of them before I could pick them in years past.  But he doesn't seem to be interested in sampling garden produce this year.

I need to eat some breakfast before I go outside.  I have wash to do, shirts to iron, and grocery store shopping on my "To Do" list today.  Along with my exercises.  I feel tired already and I just got out of bed.

1 comment:

dee said...

Nice post. He's such a beautiful dog.
Lucy doesn't get anymore stuffed toys. She shreds them to bits in minutes. Only Kongs and indestrucible playthings. Corgis like to herd everything together and then go to town on them one at a time. She even tries to herd us when we are standing around.