Tag Archives: dog toy

I Put A Spell On You . . . And Now You’re Mine (Or We Are Hers)

**Warning** This post is seriously, hilariously, egregiously, ridiculously . . . late.

We here at Play Hard Bark Often love Halloween. It’s just such a fun holiday that never takes itself too seriously and encourages a multitude of decorations to litter front yards. Similar to the winter holidays, yet with more mischief and spooks hanging around. I personally find Halloween fun because it means carving pumpkins, breaking out the tombstones, and wearing all ten of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion-themed t-shirts I own without feeling like I’m pining for something. All in all it’s a great holiday filled with gooey baked goods, a miniature village with frightening sounds, and two pups trying to wrestle themselves out of strange costumes their silly humans keep trying to wrangle them into.

Halloween and the entire month of October has always been a greatly anticipated month, but about two years ago this holiday took on an entirely new meaning when we brought a new addition into our home and family.

IMG_2308You see, October 31st, the day dedicated to all things Halloween-related, in our house is also dedicated to all things Rosee-related as it is the day of this esteemed girl’s birth. That’s right. It’s Rosee’s birthday!

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We’re definitely looking forward to moving out of the terrible twos.

It was two years and four months ago that my family walked into our local PetSmart while it was holding its weekly adoption event and saw Rosee being walked around the store with a cute little vest on that proclaimed “Adopt Me.” We were sold. Two weeks later and she was ours.

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Her first day home.

She was about nine months old at the time and Simon was about a year and a half. It was love.

Now at three years old Rosee is a little ping pong ball, bouncing around the house, making a racquet, and generally getting spoiled. She enjoys long walks to our local parks, keeping the squeaky toys away from Simon, and taking up the whole couch for her naps.

This year I decided to go all out for the big 3, whipping up candy treats for humans and trying my hand at some sort of tasty pumpkin cake for the pups to enjoy. Now, let me start by saying as much as I love to bake and cook and try my hand at all things with clear, concise recipes I wanted to be a little more adventurous this time. So, I put on my big girl apron and tried creating a birthday cake for Rosee out of sensitive-stomach-dog-friendly ingredients. After making about five different versions of some kind of pumpkin cake (because it is Fall after all), and Simon and Rosee enthusiastically taste-testing all of them, I finally settled on a version. It turned out to be a little closer to pumpkin bread, but it tasted pretty good, looked even better, and was eagerly gobbled down by the birthday girl and her partner-in-crime.

IMG_2395It was a fun evening and even though I’m pretty sure the pups have absolutely no idea why they were happily given new treats to eat, they enjoyed it all. However, getting so much attention does tend to tire a girl out pretty quickly.

IMG_2390The only problem: I have no idea what to do for Simon’s birthday in February!

The Squeak of Life

Toys. What can I say about toys? Other than the fact that one of the hardest things to talk myself into buying for Simon and Rosee is toys. Not because I don’t want them to have toys, but more so because they go through toys so fast and toys aren’t exactly cheap. (I guess that’s three things, huh?) Combine all that with the fact that both dogs love to chew and what you get left with is a garbage can full of broken, ripped and shredded toys. Even when we specifically buy toys that are labeled “for powerful chewers” they never seem to last long. Otherwise they get bones, which are good options, but they don’t quite hold the same appeal as toys when Simon and Rosee want to play.

On the lookout for a good (because perfect is impossible right?) toy Simon and Rosee have developed quite a cache of them. You see, it was fun at first when Simon was a puppy to go to a pet store and buy him various types of toys. Especially with his energy levels I would always look for toys that challenged him and could keep him interested for an extended period of time. As he got older though, the toys needed to be more indestructible. Then Rosee came along, and when it comes to play these days a good toy needs to be difficult to tear apart (Rosee’s favorite pastime) and big enough for tug-of-war.  Am I expecting the impossible? Yes, because most toys are not completely indestructible, but I at least wanted some dog toys that would take longer for Simon to tear apart than a few minutes. Now, what I mean when I say “toy” here is something that Simon and Rosee could play with. Something either of them could play fetch or catch with (although not so much Rosee who prefers being chased), chew on safely for a little while (but not too long since the function would be for play), and something that wouldn’t break it they both tugged on it together.
Recently, I came across these Kong Squeezz toys. To be honest, I mostly noticed these toys because they were on sale (can we say 2 for 1!). I thought, since these toys were rather inexpensive, it wouldn’t matter much if Simon and Rosee destroyed them quickly.

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At first, I wasn’t sure which type of toy to get as there are several different shapes including a regular stick shape, a dumbbell, a bone, a ball, and a ring. I stuck with shapes that would be big enough for both dogs to grab a hold of at the same time, and that I could easily get out of their mouths (this was before they really learned “drop it”).

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Right from the beginning Simon was in love with his Kong Squeezz toy, and wouldn’t really play with anything else. Every morning he would sit at the laundry room door, since that’s where I keep their toys, and wait for someone, anyone to give him his toy. Once he got his toy, it was like nothing else existed. The rings are his favorite because he can put his mouth through it, and maintain a strong grip. However, the dumbbells tend to have better squeakers, which he loves to squeak endlessly. Rosee, on the other hand, enjoys her Kong Squeezz, but mostly likes to try and take Simon’s toy.

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Now, there is one important thing I learned about these toys that I should probably share (even though it’s kind of gross). While I don’t recommend letting your dog ingest anything that isn’t edible, I would like to say that (based on my own experience with Simon and Rosee) Kong Squeezz toys can be passed (I assume you understand what I’m trying to say here). One of the reasons Rosee and Simon like these toys so much was because they could pull on them. You know, hold it down with their paws while they pull at a spot with their teeth. If they’re left alone a little too long with one of these toys (which we don’t do anymore) it pretty much ends up in pieces. Unfortunately, Simon has developed a fondness for eating the soft rubber pieces he pulls off, hence how I know it can be passed. Rosee, thankfully, just spits the pieces out and continues to destroy. As of now, they only get to play with these toys if they’re supervised, but since we mostly use these toys for play and not to chew it’s okay.

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Generally, I like these Kong Squeezz toys because they come in a variety of shapes, are fairly indestructible (unless it’s used exclusively for chewing then it won’t last too long), are really great for playing fetch, and they almost always seem to be on sale (at least at the pet stores I shop at and I always stock up). Now, I have to admit that I don’t really like (read: absolutely loathe) squeaky toys, but Simon does and luckily the squeakers in these toys never last very long. This might be a downside to some, however I don’t mind the squeaker only lasting a week or so (that’s with regular, everyday use). Also, I probably wouldn’t recommend leaving your dog unsupervised with a Kong Squeezz toy just because it’s not really a chew toy, and if your dog is anything like Simon and Rosee it will only end in a ruined toy. Still, I really like using this toy to play fetch with Simon, and Rosee and Simon enjoy using it to play tug-of-war. For these main reasons, I would definitely recommend the Kong Squeezz toys to any dog owner.

Pawndered Thought: May 21, 2015

His villain name would be: The Dew Claw.

IMG_1758Powers include: never-ending energy, everlasting determination, a bark that can annoy to no end, and most importantly he has the ability to ensnare all with a snap of his wrist and his Dew Claw!

His kryptonite: Rosee, for she will always be the Batman to his Robin (he just tends to forget this at times).