Saturday, December 13, 2008
Before we brought Baxter home, we picked up a few essentials we thought dog owners should have. We got a collar, a leash, food and water bowls, food, treats, a crate, and some toys. The one toy Baxter clung to immediately was his blue hippo.
The hippo was nothing special; just a stuffed squeaky toy on the shelf amongst several other stuffed squeaky toys. Initially, Baxter was so small, he couldn’t even make the squeaker squeak. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. I guess there was just something about that blue hippo. Maybe it was the bright blue color, the soft cloth material it was made of, or maybe it was because it was the smallest, most unintimidating toy we got that day.
During the past couple of months, Baxter has hidden and lost the blue hippo more times that I care to count. Trista and I have both played hero and rescued the blue hippo from under the couch on several occasions. Hippo’s bright blue color has now faded to a dingy blue with hints of grey. The soft material has since been chewed to bits, and is now ragged and crusty. Stuffing pokes out of tiny holes left from tiny teeth.
But nothing could have prepared me for the horror I witnessed this week. As Baxter was playing with the dingy, grey hippo, I heard a loud tear and saw Baxter run wildly out of the room. I feared the worst.
Baxter had demolished the hippo’s head, ripping off its ear and pulling out all the stuffing in the poor, formerly-stuffed creature’s head. Baxter knew he had done a bad thing, and I’m not sure if the look on his face was fear that I would yell a corrective tone, or sadness that he would soon lose his favorite toy. I sure know I was crushed.
Luckily, we are resourceful dog owners…and fairly nice ones at that. This weekend, while I was finishing up my Christmas shopping, I headed to Wal-Mart to search for another blue hippo. I wasn’t optimistic, because I know dog toys are a dime a dozen, and I’m sure they change their inventory quite often. To my surprise, I wasn’t able to find a single blue hippo. I was able to find three!
So, now Baxter has a nice, new, fully-stuffed favorite toy again…and again…and again. Hopefully this time each one will last longer than 2 months. If not, I believe we may finally have to say goodbye.
On another note; while I was shopping at Target, I happened upon this sign in the pet section. I can’t prove it’s a Beaglier, but I’ll say it is until someone proves me wrong.