David Trinko: When dogs attack … stuffed animals

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When our 2 year old dog stays still, he is often mistaken for an oversized stuffed animal.

He’s a white and brown “Goldendoodle”, a mix of golden retriever and poodle with soft, curly hair. He weighs 30 pounds of the fluffiest, friendliest puppy you will ever meet.

He loves to play. He loves to cuddle. He loves to be loved.

He’s also a serial killer.

There is a litany of victims in its wake: Helen, Lenny, Mr. Fox. There are so many more who haven’t even lived long enough to have a name.

He loves to destroy plush dog toys. For reasons that I don’t fully understand, my wife loves finding him stuffed dog toys with squeakers inside for him to destroy.

He is also a very good boy. Despite his love of soft toys, he leaves our children’s toys alone.

He also does well with certain brands of balls and bones which we have found to be tough enough for him. Plush dog toys are his kryptonite, however.

Many mornings I wake up to let our dogs out and feed them. Then I’ll start picking up the pieces of cloth and lint strewn on the floor of any poor stuffed lizard, cow, or fox that no longer looks alike.

I know what you are saying: stop buying the stuffed dog toys. I know this because I have said it myself to my wife over and over again.

There is something super cute about the dog’s immediate reaction to a new toy, however. It’s like man’s best friend has made a new best friend. He’s so excited. He is so playful. He is so happy.

Then he begins to tear off the limbs.

This is how we ended up with Helen. Helen started off as a squealing cow. She was advertised as “indestructible” for a big dog.

What can I say ? Our dog loves challenges. He tore off her ears, eyes and mouth within half an hour. One of our daughters joked that she looked like Helen Keller, and the name stuck.

Since then, Helen has lost all her prank. It is now a flat piece of durable fabric that our dog enjoys carrying in his mouth, drawing you into a tug of war game.

My wife sent a photo of the carnage to the company. They kindly sent us another toy, a squirrel which they thought was more suitable for a destructive dog. Five minutes later, after opening it, she was missing a paw and we gave the rest of an otherwise quality toy to my sister-in-law’s dog, who respects the integrity of the toy in a way that our dog could not.

I don’t like how destructive our dog is. Lenny suffered the same fate as Helen, the once proud lizard now reduced to a flat piece of cloth. The only thing left of Mr. Fox is the squeaky pink bullet that was inside of him.

I do not endorse my wife’s continued purchases of toys that we know will eventually be destroyed throughout our home. She activates her serial killer tendencies. She helps and encourages our budding killer.

I also understand that you love who you love, even if he has gnarled habits. It’s hard to stay mad at such a fluffy little monster.

Helen once had eyes, ears, and a mouth, with a squeaker and lint inside.

David Trinko is editor-in-chief of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

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