One of the
only first things I taught Kizzie how to do when she was a puppy was to play fetch. She has been obsessed ever since. If I am home, she is always at my feet with a toy to throw…and she has a rather large variety to choose from.
Kizzie must have toys that are fairly indestructible, as I have learned the hard way. Even those stuffed animals that claim to be the most difficult to rip open that are made out of canvas. They did last a little longer than most stuffed toys, but she’s a terrier and she had both a mailman and a “bad kitty” ripped apart within a couple of days.
I have performed countless “surgeries” on ripped toys and finally gave up, accepting that I was wasting money by buying her anything made of any kind of cloth with stuffing inside.
So, no plush animals, nothing that can be torn apart. There are only two exceptions…fox tails with tennis balls attached and a plaid buffalo that was given to her by a friend of my mom’s when she was a puppy. Anything else is fair game.
Currently she is on a chicken kick. The chicken is made of thick rubber and has a hard-core squeaker in it that sounds roughly like an animal grunting noise, but has the potential to emit a high-pitched squeak if squeezed hard enough.
She has a similar toy that is somewhat bigger that Mom bought her…it’s basically made out of the same material, but is a large ball with little legs attached. It is currently in the toy closet because it is very heavy and can cause serious damage when thrown inside, which is where we have been playing fetch when it is cold.
As with everything else, Kizzie has her own style (reinforced not only by me, but by Malcom as well…I refuse to accept full responsibility) of playing fetch.
Kizzie lets me know she wants to play fetch by bouncing her toy against my legs, my head, my feet, or whatever other body part is available, depending if I am asleep or sitting on the couch or walking around the house.
Sometimes I will ignore her, because I’m in the middle of doing something like, oh, I don’t know…going to the bathroom, typing a post or an email, doing dishes, cooking, etc. This is generally ineffective and makes her all the more eager to play, because, obviously, I should give in to her every whim (which I usually do, thus reinforcing her behavior).
Playing fetch goes something like this:
1) Kizzie lets me know she wants to play fetch by bumping her toy against me.
2) I reach down to get toy from her and she moves out of reach with said toy in her mouth. This is all part of the game with her…seeing how many times I will try and grab the toy from her. I usually have to end up stepping on it or grabbing it with my feet, because she certainly won’t drop it in my lap or at my feet without a repeat of grabbing the toy and keeping it just out of reach.
3) I throw said toy, and Kizzie goes after it. Depending on her mood and how much the toy bounces and how hard she has to work at getting it, she will run full-speed around the yard or house with the toy in her mouth, squeak-squeak-squeaking all the way. If she’s really excited, she will also make grunting noises.
4) Kizzie brings toy somewhat within reach and we repeat step two. I am pretty sure that Kizzie enjoys step two even more than she enjoys the act of running after a thrown toy.
Because Kizzie is spoiled, these games of fetch can last anywhere between five to 30 minutes. I suppose the sweatshirt Mom bought me for Christmas says it all. It has a very cute picture of a cairn terrier on it and says:
“Owned by a Cairn Terrier”
Ain’t that the truth.