I brought a new squeak toy for Shimmer today. A pink spiky bird thing with goofy eyes and a pot belly. It doesn’t matter what his toy looks like, he’ll destroy it soon enough. Most toys don’t make it through the first barrage of his rapid squeak stress test: up and down as fast as his jaws can go, making the place sound full of ducks. Usually, the squeaker has been demolished or blown out at this point.
If the toy survives, he begins to rip it apart with his sharp teeth until he liberates the squeaker. (We stopped giving him realistic animal or people-shaped toys long ago after seeing some of the more brutal eviscerations.) This is the end of the line for the toy, even the so called “indestructible” ones. No toy is safe from Shimmer and they will all end up with the other mangled squeakless playthings in a box in a corner.
Except for the small yellow chicken. It’s lasted over the years, a marvel of tenacity and slipperiness. A glowing metaphor of perverse fate and perseverance–only covered in dog spit. Every day I arrive expecting it to be pierced and silent, but it’s always there, ready to be squeaked and wake him from his nap.
Shimmer is a very particular dog.