King of the Toys

Everybody has their favorite diversions. Doesn’t matter if you’re a human, big or small, or an animal — we all like to play. Our dogs, Beans and Ripley, are no different.

Beans is a fairly simple guy: as a terrier, he likes to chase small things, living or inanimate. He especially likes toys that look like small animals. If such toys come with appendages, they won’t have them for long. Beans also likes playing ball, the all-rubber, Chuckit! style, unless one of us is in the mood to wrestle the fluorescent fur of a tennis ball, which he deftly rends from its core, from his bulldog’s jaws. All Things Kong are also a Beans Favorite. Fancy, name-brand toys aside, Beans is just as happy with a knotted sock. Or a knot-free sock, stolen from the clothes bin.

Beans and a past Stuffie

Ripley, though, has been a tougher nut to crack, toy-wise. You might know that we added him to our pack a bit over a year ago. It’s apparent by his conformation that he is at least part terrier. We thought that meant that he might enjoy engaging in the same types of play as Beans.

If you’re not a dog person, you might not know that many times, dogs have to be taught to play. This is especially the case if they were separated from their parents and their litter mates early in life, if they’ve been the solo dog in a family, or if they’ve spent a lot of time living on the street. We got Ripley as a rescue, and because of that, we don’t know much about his history.

We’ve bought different toys for Ripley over the time that we’ve had him. He does like to play — mostly with Beans. He doesn’t care about the animal-looking toys, even the ones with squeaks. He’s not a ball guy, fuzzy or no. He could not care less about Everything Kong. And no matter how many times Beans dances around Ripley, daring him to grab the other end of the sock being proffered, Ripley demurs.

The one toy in which Ripley has shown interest is one of those foul, “meat” scented composite bones. Regardless of the fact that there are two in the house, whenever we get them out, these yahoos spend most of the time trying to be the King of the Bones, taking them from each other, instead of actually chewing on them, which, I guess, is a game in itself.

Stacy and I will keep trying, occasionally bringing home new, different toys, two by two, until Ripley bites. Until then, Beans is going to be the most spoiled canine from the Rockies to the Mighty Mississippi, with two new toys every few months.

What is your pet’s favorite toy or game?

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