Huffle’s Rule: We do not abuse our toys


As Thumper figures out indoor life, he got a bit of a crash course in how to be an indoor dog in THIS house from Huffle.

Normal dogs would be surprised to hear this but squeaky toys are not intended to be hurt, chewed, or torn apart.


Pouncing? Fine.
Tossing around? Fine.
Catching? Ok.
Squeaking repeatedly? No.
Chewing off bits? NO.
Pulling off tails? OH MY GOD, GIVE ME THAT TOY.


Huffle didn’t take away the toy immediately but he did hover until Thumper put it down, then nabbed it to heal it through the power of love and grooming. We couldn’t help but laugh at them both. When Huffle’s back was turned, we repatriated the hedgehog and returned it to Thumper who obviously felt the shame that he was meant to.

He kept this up for days. Every toy that Thumper squeaked was taken away and lovingly place in his crate for R&R.

To his credit, Thumper respected Huffle’s rule so long as he was around and never ever took Huffle’s toys to destroy even after he was gone. This is a bit of a conundrum – we can’t get rid of them and Thumper knows better than to actually play with them.

RIP, Huffle. Your toy friends are still safe.

Seeking comfort in the company of friends


Huffle’s been unusually antisocial this week, refusing to come out of “his” room until nearly 2 pm, often sleeping in his crate instead of laying on the rugs as usual.

Occasionally he’ll come out and sniff and huff at me, making some point that I’m still failing to understand. Apparently I’m not nearly the kind of company his stuffies can provide, except when he comes out to (attempt to) extort a treat.

Face/Off: A Huffle and his duck

For a dog that never seemed to grasp the point of toys, HufflePup has developed a deep abiding affection for his slowly acquired toy-friends, displaying heretofore unknown emotions as he cuddles and protects them.

We’ve amassed a small group of toys, ever since he first came around on the subject, perhaps having found his sense of play and belonging after being surrounded in the security of having a home that’s all his, and not a bit of it to share with a rotation of pushy-playful fosters that formed his pack before we came along.

Regardless of whether the foster sib was bigger or smaller than him, he’d rather roll over and submit than engage in puppy play; being invited to carouse by happy barking puppies only incites confusion, anxiety and a touch of shame. No wonder he’s always refused to lay on his back.


These days, his toys seem to be his accomplices. He still hides the ones he’s protecting from the blasphemous squeaker (usually me. It’s too funny to see his face when he comes and takes the toys away from from me) in the safety of his crate, and brings out daily favorites for his Walk Bartering.

And occasionally, his nemeses.


Oh for duck’s sake …

As if in apology for using Duck as his barter currency (1 duck, for 1 afternoon walk) all last week, Huffle’s been carrying Duck around at night and refusing to relinquish it for playing catch. Well, for anything at all. There’s just no reasoning with him.


Us: Huffle, dinner!
Huffle: Oh food!! Here, Duck, you sit right here.


Us: Huffle, maybe you want to put Duck down … on the ground?
Huffle: *splashing in water bowl* You’re ok Duck, I’m right here.


Huffle: Um.. Duck. Duck? Duck, I’m hungry.
Us: Yeah, what are you gonna do now?

…. no seriously, aren’t you going to move Duck?

In fact, no. Huffle only ate the food that was still visible with Duck in the bowl. I finally took pity on him when he’d burrow-eaten his way to a shiny bowl bottom, without dislodging Duck, and was looking forlornly around as if to say, What do I do now?

My HufflePup. Not TOTALLY possessed of problem-solving instincts.

Huffle Approved: Bed Time

Please just turn off the lights.

I’m giving you the eyebrow. That means: stop taking pictures and turn off the lights.

HufflePup looks so cozy in his crate when he’s settled, but like a mattress that’s been used to store odds, ends and a bit of money for a rainy day, the stuffing is lumpy in spots and squashed to nearly nothing in others.

This is the Kong bed we bought him about two years ago: guaranteed to be indestructible, they said. It may be true for those dogs that eat their beds (and I wouldn’t bet money on that either, I had one dog with a positive genius for making holes in beds) but our problem is different. Its fill can’t stand up to 80+ pounds, 8 hours a day+ 6 hours a night, day after day so it’s time to think replacement.  Sadly, the Kong’s innards are removable but unlike the Shrimpy brand, they don’t sell just the component parts.

We already did this once months ago when we found the Big Shrimpy. It’s so poufy he’d walk a few laps around it before settling down where he wouldn’t roll off.  It was about half as long as a queen sized bed’s width; finally big enough for him to stretch out!  Then it had to become his travel bed because he was riding in the car to the vet’s so much. It’s too big to constantly haul in and out of the car.

Now that Big Shrimpy’s taken permanent residence in the car and his Kong is the saddest thing ever.  A dog that sleeps at least as much as a cat should have a decent place to rest his head. Should we MacGyver his Kong with a bunch of old pillows which means new pillows for us, or buy him a second Big Shrimpy?

I know he likes people pillows. He’s not allowed on the bed but when he does have pillows handy, he’s been known to snuggle on or under them even.

The Big Shrimpy business model is good, as are their initiatives to be green, though OMG the beds are expensive (they start at $100!), and I like supporting businesses with good ethics. On the other hand, three beds for one dog? Doesn’t that seem excessive?

What to do, what to do…