I have mentioned in numerous Posts, Ray’s apparent indifference to toys. It’s not that he does not play with them, and ones that make a noise do get his attention, but his interest very quickly goes away.
One thought is that perhaps he simply did not have an opportunity to play as a puppy, and so the whole concept of doing something simply for fun may be strange to him. In addition, his earlier life as a stray would have no doubt put survival higher on the priority list than play!
Given that he does not play on his own (chilling out and observing the world around him, or sleeping, seems to be preferred), we have tried to involve him with “Fetch” and “Tug”. Anybody who has read his book will know that “Fetch” was (he has improved slightly) an exercise in personal humiliation and embarrassment, and “Tug” receives no more enthusiasm than playing on his own with a toy.
“So what’s supposed to happen now?”
If he sees a stick however, things can often turn out very differently. Ray is very good on his leash and it will stay generally quite loose as he follows scents, leaves messages and tries to manipulate us into a dog friendly store. Often however, he will suddenly find a hidden store of incredible energy and we have almost 80lbs of flying dog on the end of a very tight leash! There are numerous occasions when we have no idea as to what triggered the reactions, but sometimes it is simply a stick!
Sticks can be carried, thrown, or just simply chewed to destruction. Size seems to be irrelevant as he is just as likely to try and pick up a fallen tree, as he is a very small stick!
“Who needs toys when these little “guys” are all over the place!”
Back in the days of having young children, and watching them in amazement as they opened their Christmas gifts and then proceeded to play with the wrapping paper and/or the boxes the gifts came in, perhaps we should rethink Ray’s toys. His birthday is coming up in November so perhaps we’ll just give him a pile of sticks? They are free; non-polluting; naturally occurring; have no negative impact on the environment and, in fact, will simply recycle themselves over time! Perfect!