Smart Toys are Dumb

To entertain the restless creature that is an Elsie left alone, we bought a puzzle toy (below). Inside there are four chambers that act as difficulty levels. If you put food in the chamber with four circles, you require your pup to navigate the food/treats through three chambers before it pops out of the green side. The yellow side has a similar opening, but it is for you to open the toy to refill.

“We should get this puzzle for Else. It actually has levels, so she could grow with it.” I tell Donatello. He agrees. We buy it. Fill the second chamber, because we don’t want it to be too easy.  She plays with it for a while and is clearly a fan of the toy. We get excited, it took her a while to tire of the toy. Once we up it a few levels over the next couple of weeks or months, she ought to be entertained the whole day.

What optimists (fools) we were to think this. After work Monday – the toy was purchased Saturday, the toy was completely empty. I reloaded it Tuesday with nothing in the first chamber. It was low Tuesday, but some kibble blocked the third chamber. Today, we loaded it only in the last two chambers and trimmed the kibble to ensure it would not block the path. Then, handled it to Elsie.

I watched her play with it as I gathered my stuff for work. After ten minutes, she quit playing. I checked the toy to see if she just got bored or if it was actually already emptied. To my surprise, it was completely empty.

So, apparently, we have just been entertaining her for ten minutes…

I am in the market for a VERY good and VERY difficult dog puzzle toy. Anyone have any suggestions?

Why I am late to work today.

After breakfast and a shower, I had some time so I sat on the deck with all of the furry family. The swing on our deck is shaded from the morning sun by a very big something tree. The breeze was just light enough to prevent the summer morning from being stuffy and kept the deck at the perfect relaxation for me and the furries.

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Ace was lounging on a hand-me-down table surveying his lands. Two chairs from the hand-me-down set protected him from Elsie’s curious muzzle. Maggie laid next to me in the swing and pondered at the leaves lazily dancing in the light breeze. Elsie was filled with too much energy to sit still for a second. She watched the cats with the determined eye of a scientist hungry for knowledge and understanding. Otto climbed the something tree. As he climbed higher, he would test each branch tentatively to ensure his footing.

As I ruminated on the peace of the morning and the pointlessness of leaving for work, a humming sounded from the tree. Four set of furry ears perked up. Ace landed on the deck with a heavy THUD! He slinked off the deck. A horsefly could be seen for a moment between these two small panthers. The tree erupted into chaos as the early morning hunt and murder took place.

Simultaneously, the peace on the deck was shattered by the stomping of a fifty-pound observer wished to become part of the action. My seat on the swing is set into motion when Maggie pushed off it to join the drama as well.

I found that I couldn’t stop smiling. The peace of the morning was cut off suddenly and very completely in one moment by the dark humour of nature. Yet, I wanted more moments like this to fill my life. I looked at my phone and realised I was running late.

It was worth it.