Angel Barkley stayed at a doggie day camp occasionally when I knew I was going to be away from home 12 hours plus, til myself or a friend picked him up. We were living in Indiana and visiting my boyfriend (now husband) in Chicago on our weekends. He loved that Danville, Indiana day camp place as it had lots of outside and indoor play areas with wading pools when it was hot and all kinds of toys. His favorite was this really hard rubber ball with feet on it. It also squeaked. Any of you who read The Book of Barkley, know all about the infamous Mr. Squeaky, but in looking through some old photos today, I saw a photo of another toy that I had forgotten about.
Abby Lab LOVES her stuffies and is normally very gentle with them. Barkley would destroy any cloth toy with a squeaker in minutes, but the doggie day camp had this large toy with feet that was so hard, he couldn't get his teeth through it and could just work it with his jaws, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK. (I was thinking at the time I should buy the folks at the dog camp some high caliber ear protection.)
I wanted to get him one, but I'd never seen one in the pet toy section of the small pet store where I normally shopped. It looked to be made out of the hard Kong material but that's all I knew. Then, surprise! my boyfriend (now Abby Lab's "Dad") was able to find one at a big pet store in Chicago and presented it to Barkley for his birthday and he continued to play with it until the incessant squeaking was such it got taken away for a while each day (Look! A Squirrel! Mr. Squeaky? What Mr. Squeaky?)
Until the day the squeaker died.
He got a tooth in the little vent in the back for air to move in and out of. Over a few days, he worked enough of a hole in it that it wouldn't squeak but would just sort of wheeze like an asthmatic blowfish.
He was seriously bummed.
I know, Mr. Squeaky is DOA and your other friends are home with their paw-rents. But come on, it's the new issue of Classic Trains!
I got tired of the look so off I went.
To the big-box pet mart. They didn't have one in stock, but they did have a similar device, a kong style big ball that squeaked. Not as big, and not quite as hard, but pretty thick AND wrapped in extra tough fabric (reinforced! it said). The instructions were in English AND French (do not ask me why as it was "American designed and tested" and "made in China"). Jeu amusant et interactif! Fun, interactive play! At last I could use my college French, -yes, for instead of taking a language that appears to be more popular than English in most border states I took French, finding out quickly I did not have a talent for languages though I got an A, out of sheer effort and some tutoring. Put it this way, one day in my airline pilot days, I made the announcement to the back of the airplane about checking your seatbelts and flight attendants be seated in English and what I thought was flawless French as we had about two dozen French students on board on some sort school-related trip. When we landed they were all totally cracking up when they were deplaning, waving at me and giggling. Finally, I said "OK, what DID I say?"
Apparently, the French announcement was "We're becoming unglued, guard your nose for a quick abruptness".
The Kong WUBBA!
He was so happy. For three minutes. SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, JOUET COUINEURrrrr!
I removed the remains in a bucket.
That night it was another annoying night at the crash pad with Calgon Dog, but fortunately, my soon to be husband was able to find another pink Mr. Squeaky, that now sits on the top of the box that holds the remains and memory of the black lab that stole both my slippers and my heart.