Monday, March 14, 2011

Ode to Orange Ball

Nyxie was raised on toys.  From her first day with us, we had toys for her to chew, explore, and snuggle with.  Her favorites are round, squeaking, mouth-sized fuzzies.  Her first one looked like a small, fuzzy soccer ball in sky-blue and white.  From that point on, she was hooked.  And then there's the faithful tennis ball.

Tennis balls are like a drug to Nyxie.  She turns to them if she's stressed, gnawing on them, crushing even a new one in her mouth like a marshmallow.  Tennis balls are like a security blanket to her.  She'll toss them onto my lap if I get distracted from throwing them for her to retrieve, and will dig them out from under the couch like a miner digging for gold.  She flies into the air to catch them, all four legs off the ground.  Then the audible "POP!" as they land in the secure grasp of her jaws.

Toys make Nyxie happy.  I bring home a new one, and she'll sniff it, tail thumping, eyes wide until I hand it to her and she races into the bedroom to squeak her little heart out.  Sometimes the squeaker lasts a few days, but she usually silences it within hours.  No matter.  She'll carry the soft toy with her and then pick up a tennis ball in at the forefront of her jaws.  Sometimes the stuffie is carried while she bats the tennis balls with her front paws.

Arwen has never been much for toys.  She likes Nylabones and other bone chewies, but stuffie toys have absolutely no appeal.  I bought her a free trade, eco-friendly, wool stingray, hand spun  in Nepal.  She took it in her mouth and settled down with it.  I was thrilled!  A toy she actually liked!  I turned my back to her as we settled in, each with our distractions.  I had my computer and she had her new and very special toy.  A few minutes later I turned around to find the toy upside down, tiny tufts of wool surrounding the now disemboweled stingray body.

"Oh Arwen!  No!"

Oh well, I tried.  This new toy, although hand made in Nepal, just for Arwen, still cannot compare to Orange Ball.

Nyxie's puppyhood was full of dog park visits.  With these trips, I soon learned the joys of the Chuck-It - a long handled ball holder that will toss a special orange and blue ball long distances with the flick of a wrist.  For some reason, Nyxie wasn't a big fan of the Chuck-It ball, and never really raced after it like she would a tennis ball.  Arwen took a shine to it, though.

Orange Ball is special because it's the only one toy that Arwen consistently likes.  Orange Ball is now cracked, but still maintains its shape.  Orange Ball cannot be duplicated or replaced.  I tried buying "refill" Chuck-It balls for her when original Orange Ball cracked.  She knew they were impostors.  She won't even pick them up.

Orange Ball is the only toy Arwen doesn't look clumsy playing with.  She has a hard time catching anything, much less a tennis ball, but she can catch Orange Ball - sometimes.  It fits perfectly in her mouth and occasionally, she even falls asleep playing with it.  I've tried to understand the mysteries of Orange Ball with no success.  Orange Ball is, and always will have mystical powers.  Arwen's security blanket, her only non-living friend.  Who needs stuffies?  She has her pack after all.  And Orange Ball.


  1. Love Arwen sleeping on orange ball. We each have a favorite here, as well. Unfortunately, Gizmo has chosen a pillow from the couch. It's pretty much his pillow. He grabs it whenever he is excited about anything and carries it all over the house. Silly dogs ;-)

  2. You ALWAYS have to have a favorite toy!! Dunc doesn't like toys at all, so I have two for me and one for him!

  3. Lots of great pics here:) Dakota used to like balls, but only in the sense that she would play this juggling game as she tried to get three in her mouth at once - not happening. Phantom likes to carry a stuffy in his mouth and do his woo through his teeth. TD and Ciara love stuffies, and the Pest is a skilled de-stuffer.

    It is fun to see how all pups have their special toys.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  4. Oh Arwen, hope your momma knows how to give stitches. We send one or two of our stuffies to the ER
    Benny & Lily

  5. Toys are so much fun.:) That last photo of Arwen sleeping with Orange Ball is priceless.:)

    Teddy Bear

  6. We all has our very special favorite toy. Mine is my brudder, Max (DaOdderWeenie). I would luvs to pull his "stuffings" out. BWhahahahah!

  7. great pic of Nyxie, & love the shot of Arwen with her ball! I don't do balls either but Isis is crazy about them,


  8. I loved Arwen's khomfy Sibe pose!


  9. Isn't it funny what they will and won't take to? I love the story about Arwen and her orange ball. All 6 of mine have their favorites for a while and then the change to something else.

    Long live the orange ball!! :)

  10. What great pictures! I like balls too, but don't see the need to bring them back once they are tossed to me!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  11. Oh wow, I LOVE stuffed toys! Balls, not so much...unless they're stuffed into the end of a SOCK! ;)

    Woofs & hugs,


  12. i love those photos of arwen with her orange ball.

  13. Great pics! Our Harley is the only who so into balls also! She is very protective over them and does not like to give them up. She will play Fetch with you until the sun sets! And if you ignore her, she'll drop it at your feet and poke you with her nose until you play again!

    Now if I'm not mistaken, isn't that Orange Ball safely tucked under Arwen in his pillow pic? :-)

  14. White Dog is our only child who grew up with a huge selection of toys and plays with all types. There are a few battered, mended over and over, and well worn that she simply will not give baby bunny. She LOVES balls. Quinn has no interest at all but has teased us several times by putting out a paw to stop a ball rolling we have hope. Nuka would rather chase the pup playing with a toy than play with it. Puff treats stuffies with tenderness and then savagely rips the squeakers out of their bellies. After, the noiseless babies are once again precious.

    Thanks for sharing the great shots of Nyxie and Arwen and their Toy Stories.

  15. I have an all-time favorite puppy-sized, leopard print stuffed squeaky ball. Mom calls it my squeaka ball cuz when I chew it, it makes a squeaka squeaka squeaka noise I just love!

    I have destroyed lots of toys, but never my squeaka ball!

    Khady Lynn

  16. There's nothing compared to your first love, I guess, even if it's in the form of Orange Ball!


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