Lucy’s Toy Basket

With only a few exceptions, the toys belonging to my dog, Lucy, are made of cloth with squeakers inside. She had some plastic toys in her youth, but she would gnaw on them until she broke them up into little pieces. I was worried she’d swallow one of those bits and choke. 

So now her collection is cloth only, save for her tennis ball and this one bright green dildo-ish thing she ignores. Eventually, she destroys most cloth toys, too, working on the fabric with her teeth until she punctures the surface. Once she reaches the stuffing, I throw the toy away.  

My favorite thing to have her fetch is the tennis ball because she growls while chasing it, which I find cute. She will not play with it for long, however, because it’s too big for her mouth and she grows frustrated and quits.

As a gay man, I can’t even begin to relate to the preceding sentence, but apparently mores are different in the dog community. 

We keep Lucy’s toys in a small basket that sits on the floor under my desk in the bedroom. She’ll pull out an item in the collection when she feels like playing or gnawing on something. 

At other times, she’ll take several toys out of the basket and leave them lying around because she knows she’s not supposed to do that yet feels compelled to exercise her remaining vestiges of puppyish naughtiness. Though now a senior by canine standards (she’s 10 years old), Lucy still displays an appetite for shenanigans now and then. 

If we leave the bathroom door open, for instance, she’ll inevitably get into the wastebasket. “You are supposed to be a dignified old lady!” I will admonish her while I clean up shredded bits of refuse on the bathroom rug. “Do you see Dame Judi Dench chewing on used floss and Q-tips?!”

When Lucy is in a disruptive mood, I much prefer it when she goes on a high-speed tear, running through the rooms of the apartment like the Tasmanian Devil of Looney Tunes fame. At least that’s funny and doesn’t require picking up soggy, ripped-up scraps of Kleenex.

The toy basket is fuller at the moment than at any time since Lucy’s puppyhood. For Christmas, my youngest sister got Lucy a three-month subscription to BarkBox, so in December, January, and February we got fresh shipments of toys and treats and now have an overabundant supply.

December’s box was Snoopy-themed, January’s was vaguely spa-related, and February’s was all about horny food items, presumably in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

There was a plush hot dog with “Nice Buns” printed on it, and a pair of winking stuffed potato chips came inside a Velcro’d felt bag bearing the message, “You’re all that and a bag of chips!” On the back of the bag, there’s a Nutrition Facts box stating that “You,” which, in this case, would be Lucy I guess, contains 100% “All That,” 1 bag of chips, and 230 grams of “Hot Stuff.” A separate list of ingredients asserts that the contents of the bag are made up of “a dash of romance, a sprinkle of devotion, vegetable oil.”

I’m not sure, but I think BarkBox might have the wrong idea about my relationship with my dog. 

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