Well, I bought my puppy Riley a new toy.
My wife Barbara will be happy to tell you that this, in and of itself, is not a remarkable event. Me getting Riley a new toy is about as rare as a Kardashian showing up in People magazine. Barbara is quite sure that Riley has enough toys.
I tell Barbara that I get new toys for Riley because he is a Shetland Sheepdog, which is a very smart breed. Shelties get bored if they are not intellectually stimulated with new toys to play with, small animals to chase, and updates on world events such as are delivered in the daily newspaper, which Riley shakes violently every morning until it slips out of the bag, apparently dead.
The truth, though, is that I don’t get Riley new toys because he gets bored. I get them because I get bored. I can only play with Ropey Goose (pictured below) for so many consecutive days before wanting to use the rope half to hang myself.
Now, Riley already has Squeaky Monkey, Squeaky Fox, Squeaky Squirrel, Squeaky Raccoon and Squeaky Soccer Ball. But none of his current squeaky toys were like this new squeaky toy. Because this new squeaky toy has a truly incredible squeaky toy feature:
It doesn’t squeak.
Yes, that’s right. It is a non-squeaking squeaky toy.
It’s made by a company called Hear Doggy!™ which says this about its products on its website:
The science behind Hear Doggy!: Dogs can hear sounds at a higher frequency (0 to 45KHz) than humans (0 to 20 KHz). Tuned to an ultrasonic range in the 24-28 KHz frequency, each Hear Doggy! squeaker is out of human hearing range, but still fun for your four-legged friend.
Frankly, I didn’t know squeakers could be tuned at all, much less to ultrasonic frequencies. But when I saw this in the pet store, I thought, “Hmm, Barbara might like this.” Of course, I didn’t mean that she would like playing with it, although she has been spotted sitting on the floor playing with Riley’s toys after he has left the room (as have I). I just thought she might enjoy not hearing it. Because, while Riley’s squeaky toys aren’t any more annoying than most squeaky toys, he has this habit of talking to them, or imitating them, or…well, whatever the hell he thinks he’s doing when he starts wailing along with them in an ear-piercing howl.
That’s annoying. (If you’d like to see this, click here.)
Anyway, the non-squeaking squeaky toy, a green snake, hung there in the pet store with a tag that said “TRY ME.” So I did. Nothing happened. So I bought it.
I didn’t give it to Riley right away, because Barbara makes me throw away a toy for every new one I get. If she didn’t have this policy in place, we would no longer be able to see the living room floor. However, I’ve seen all three Toy Story movies and I wasn’t ready to condemn a plaything to the scrap heap. So I waited until I was desperate for something new to play with, and then I pulled the snake out from my stash. (Sorry, Octopus Ball, your life was short but, um, round, and one of your tentacles was hanging off anyway.)
I removed the tags and showed the snake to Riley, squeezing it as I did. It sounded exactly like a regular squeaky toy does when the squeaker thing is broken: a weak little click. I mean, for all I know, Hear Doggy! is a company that just recycles old, broken squeakers and resells them as Ultrasonic Squeakers.
What am I gonna do, write them a letter? “Your squeaky toys don’t squeak,” I would say. “Then they’re working perfectly,” would be the reply. “Your dog can hear it, but you can’t. Trust us.”
Riley seems to like the snake, but then he loves every new toy, at least for awhile. I really don’t think he hears anything, though, because he’s not opening his mouth and howling silently.
However, in fairness to Hear Doggy!, I will say that Riley did turn around when I squeezed the snake, and…
OMG! Did I really just type “I squeezed the snake?” That’s sounds like…
…well, let’s just say it sounds like Riley’s new toy and call it a post.
See you soon.