Monday, March 11, 2013

Ray's New Toy

Ray has a new toy. I bought it for him because Murphy had brought one over the last time she was here and Ray immediately took to it. So much so, that I had to take it away almost as soon as it hit the floor because Ray became 'overprotective' of it. He was equally entranced with a similar toy of Tucker's.
I'd been looking for one for awhile and when I finally found one, I thought long and hard before buying it. Almost twenty dollars is a lot of money for a dog toy, especially since I couldn't be sure he would play with it, and I didn't know how long it would last. But being the sucker I am for a certain blind hound, I bought the thing and brought it home.
The toy is one of those interactive treat cubes, designed to keep smart dogs busy. I was hoping it would do the same for blind dogs. It's made of hard plastic and has a hole on one side that is an insert that twists out and into which go the treats.
When I got it home and actually read the packaging, I found that the toy was for "Learning Level: Genius." Although my inclination was to immediately take it back, I didn't want to appear like I didn't have confidence in my dog's learning ability or intelligence level, so I filled it with a handful of treats, set it on the easiest setting, and rolled it onto the floor.
There is no doubt that Ray likes his new toy. He is fascinated by the hole out of which treats are dispensed. Unfortunately for Ray, treats are not dispensed unless the cube is rolled over so that the hole faces the floor. I had to get involved to show him how it was done.
I rolled the cube. Three treats fell out. Ray gobbled them up. I rolled the cube again. Another treat fell out. Ray snuffled around, found it, and gobbled IT up.
"Push it," I told the dog.
Ray shoved the cube with his nose a bit. It slid across the carpet.
"Push it, Ray," I encouraged him again.
Ray pushed the cube again, the cube turned over, treats rattled, but nothing came out.
"Good BOY, Ray!" I said.
We played with the cube for fifteen or twenty minutes. Ray was having some success. Mostly he learned that every time I touched the cube, treats magically appeared.
The next day, Ray played with it again by himself. I watched him and used the same words over and over "Push it, Ray" and then "Good BOY, Ray!" every time the cube turned over.
ggghya! I wish I had a tongue like an anteater
Maybe if I bite it....
nnnnggggg, can't quite get my teeth in there... 
How the heck does this thing work???????
 I think eventually he's going to figure it out. Although, he does tend to get stuck whenever that hole faces up.


  1. That looks like the toy I bought for Blueberry. I did not know that it was a "genius" only toy. I guess that explains a lot. Blueberry didn't like to have to work that hard for the treats and I guess she figured I was her treat dispenser, so that toy is no longer around.

    Glad Ray likes it! See? He IS a genius! :)

  2. Has he tried howling at it? :0P

  3. Oh, wow, I'm tempted to try one with my three. Surely one of them will be smart enough to figure it out...

    1. It's fun watching him try to figure this thing out. So far, it's kept him busy for some time every day. yay.