Eco Comforts For A Friend’s Dogs

March 11, 2011

Written by Sarah Starks

SimplyFido, organic dog toys and beds, offered to let MJ try out some of their products. Since she doesn’t have a dog, our dogs got to try them out instead. It was a very exciting day when the package arrived: first for my daughter Eleanor, who got to help unwrap the toys and decided to set them up in a corner for the dogs to discover, and then for Toby and Tess, who came inside to discover new things to play with. They sent us Wally Bear Ring from their stuffed ring toy collection, Oscar Monkey from their plush collection, and a Bamboo/Canvas & Rope Bone, along with a medium-sized dog bed, yellow on one side and green on the other.

Toby and Tess are still puppies, about a year and a half old (they’re brother and sister), and while they’ve gotten past the major teething stage they’re amazingly destructive when it comes to their toys. I felt a little guilty giving them something so nice–the toys looked like something I’d give to my daughter–because I knew they’d figure out a way to demolish them, but they have so much fun in the process that it’s worth it. Plus they make good test subjects for evaluating the durability of toys!

The bear was an instant hit, especially once Toby discovered that all of its feet have squeakers in them. Toby ran around the house with it dangling by its foot from his mouth, squeaking it as he ran, while Tess chased him.

They loved the little monkey too. Toby, the most in love with squeakers of the two, discovered the squeaker in his back pretty quickly too and ran around squeaking it. He liked to take it up on the sofa for the safety of higher ground:

Whereas Tess quickly discovered that the bed offered a soft place to lie down with a toy:

But I think the bear remains their favorite. It’s been about a month since the toys arrived and I often find the bear on the top of the stairs from the back yard, because they carry it up with them when they come back up and wait for me to let them into the house.

With so many exciting toys, they didn’t really dig into the bone at first. Once all the excitement, chase, and squeaking had settled down, Tess carried the bone over the bed and started to investigate. Unlike the dog and monkey, which have those cute fuzzy animal features that invite rambunctious play, the key features of the bone are two firm canvas corners that really invite focused gnawing. This is the sort of toy that they really enjoy, but in a way that guarantees its immediate destruction. Within 3 minutes Tess was yanking out fluffy organic stuffing. I think by now it’s about half emptied out. I still occasionally find them playing keep-away with it in the back yard, and they’ve since discovered that it also has a squeaker, but the plush animal toys are much more their style.

A month after everything arrived, the dog bed is still in pristine condition. Toby & Tess usually sleep curled up together, and they already have a large thicker pillow-style bed from Victoria Peak that is big enough for both of them. I’ve started putting the Simply Fido bed next to their regular bed in the laundry room at night because sometimes one dog gets grumpy and kicks the other out of bed, and the Simply Fido bed makes for a nice cozy spot for the banished dog to spend the night on when that happens. It’s pretty much the perfect size for one of our dogs. They’re chihuahua mixes of some sort, but whatever they’re mixed with is on the bigger side, so they’re in the 15-20 pound range. A much bigger dog wouldn’t be happy with the medium bed, and our dogs can’t fit on it together, but any smallish dog would love it. During the day I bring it into the living room, and it gives them an extra spot to hang out. It’s just padded enough that it seems to be pretty comfy and it definitely protects them from our very cold floors.

All the dog toys are looking well-loved, but their overall integrity is intact. After a few days they created a hole where Wally bear’s nose once was and pulled out a bunch of his face stuffing. For our dogs this isn’t a sign of a poorly made toy, it’s a sign of a really fun toy. Truly, there is nothing they can’t destroy. I had brief hopes of keeping these as “indoor toys” so they’d stay nice and so there would always be something handy for them to play with, but they love to grab their toys on their way out the door so these toys, like all their toys, spend most of their time in the back yard. But even after a month of rain and dirt and tug of war and squeaker extraction projects, they’re still going strong and providing lots of entertainment.

Details:

Simply Fido – organic dog toys and beds

www.simplyfido.com

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