Category Archives: Dog Products – Thumbs Up List

The Joy of Raising a Lab

Amber at 10 months

Today has been a challenging day for the parents of a 10 month old lab ‘puppy.’

She LOVES the cold weather we’re having.  She comes to sit beside me as I’m working on the computer. Then she starts ‘talking’ to me, saying something like, “Hmmmm!” If I look at her and say, “What do you want, Amber?” she says, “WOOOF!!!” – making me jump straight up in my chair. She actually hurts my ears! We wanted her to bark when she wanted to go out and when she wants to come back in again, but I think we’ve created a monster. How to you ‘explain’ to a 10-month-old-lab-with-small-brain that barking ONCE to go out is good. When you’ve gone out, and come back in again, you need to wait at least awhile before repeating the process?

It’s noon and so far, she’s been out 5 times!  The first time I let her in, I saw she had been busy collecting sticks again. I put on my coat, hat, gloves, and muffler (I feel like a kindergartner getting ready to go out and play in the snow), and cleaned up the yard.

The second time, I saw ‘something’ I couldn’t identify in the yard. I donned all my gear again and went out to discover that Amber had brought the cats’ water bowl and bottle out into the front yard and had been chewing on them. :0(   I picked them up, brought them into the house, washed the bowl and water bottle and refilled them. I took them back out into the garage to find that, before taking them out into the yard, she had played, “Let’s splash all the water out onto the floor!” Since it’s 15 degrees outside right now, I took the broom and swept the water out as best I could, warning my husband to be careful if he went out into the garage, watching for thin patches of ice on the floor.

The next times were more ordinary, without much destruction, but she would stay in 30 seconds, come over to me and say, “WOOOOF!!!” – piercing my eardrums – to go right back out again.

My husband just finished playing “fetch the frog” with her. That lasted for a good 5 minutes or so before she came over and said, “WOOOOOF!!!” again.

By the way, this cute rubber frog is a “Thumbs UP” list frog, as far as we’re concerned.



When we first got it, It’s made of soft rubber and squeaks. I thought it was really cute, but wouldn’t last long. I was wrong! It has lasted for about 3 months so far. She just loves it. She finally ate off one of the eyeballs, so it’s a one-eyed frog now, but seems to have many hours left in it.  (sorry. I just tried to find the toy on the net so I could give you a URL for it, but I guess it’s been discontinued.)

Footnote – It may be that I’m paying for past sins or something, but one of our CATS just pulled over the laundry basket that was sitting on the stairs, scattering the clean, folded clothes and throwing some socks over the side…..



Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Dog Products - Thumbs Up List, Family

Playing with your Food – Take 18

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Amber’s Thumbs Up Toy List – Newest Additions – Dec 2017

Amber will be 9 months old December 7th. She weighs 81 pounds now. To describe her as an “aggressive chewer” just doesn’t do her justice. Like our pit bull, Bambi, before her, she LIVES to destroy.

Example – I gave her a stuffed purple dragon this morning that was supposed to be extra tough for aggressive chewers. She already has gotten the ‘head’ open and is happily spreading stuffing all over the office carpet. I get her one of these every once in a while because she really does love them. I make sure I get them on sale, though, and don’t expect them to last.

We HAVE found some exceptionally good, long-lasting toys to add to “Amber’s Thumbs Up Dog Toy List “-


Mammoth TireBiter Tire and Rope Dog Toy

Before I forget, I bought all of these from

They have an ‘aggressive dog’ toy section.  Most of the toys I’ve bought Amber has demolished  pretty quickly, even those that are supposed to be ‘tough.’ I’m happy to be able to send on her recommendations for the ones that are worth the money.

The TireBiter above is about 8 inches across. Amber tends to carry it around by the rope, hoping we’ll play tug of war. If we don’t, she still carries it around, trying to break its neck. We have learned not to be in the path of that because we’ve gotten bruises from being hit by the tire. She loves it.


PetSafe Sportsman Bristle Bone Dog Toy


This is the absolutely best toy I’ve found that BOTH our dogs love. It’s got interesting things to chew. There are two “Jerky” type discs in the row of things between the two ‘bone’ ends. They smell good (to the doggies). You can get refills for the jerky type things. Molly basically ‘guards’ it for her turn, rather than aggressively chewing on it. When Amber’s turn comes, she chews on it heavily, sometimes actually unscrewing it. I came in one day to find the pieces all over the room. I just gathered them up, replaced the jerky discs, screwed everything back together tightly and declared it was again Molly’s turn. GREAT toy. (When this one is used up, we’ll definitely get another one.)



JW Pet iSqueak Bouncin’ Bowlin’ Pin Dog Toy

Squeaky, bouncy bowling pin. Amber mainly carries it around, rather than chewing much on it. She wants us to play – you guessed it – tug of war with it. She especially likes when she can make it squeak. She has to work for it some, which is good.



Nylabone DuraChew Ring Original Flavor Dog Toy

This is a good, all around toy. We can throw it for Amber outside in the yard. Both doggies like to chew it, though it isn’t the favorite toy. We’ve had this about 3 weeks and it holding up really well.

We’ll tell you about more toys as they make the list. :0)


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Update to Amber’s Thumbs Up Dog Toy List


Amber asked me to put this toy on her first “Thumbs Up” Aggressive Chewer Dog Toy List several weeks ago.  We bought it online at

The life of this toy has been interesting. The first thing Amber did was chew the strap off that separates the top from the main squeaking ball. I thought this might be the end of this toy, but was I wrong!

She has squeaked this toy like mad for as long as we can stand it from time to time ever since, offering it for tug-of-war, trying to ‘break its neck’ by shaking it fiercely, and just chewing hard on it. It has lasted and lasted.

Today she finally got the big squeaky ball out. Is that the end of the toy? No!

She is still offering the tattered, sturdy purple part for tug of war, and is happily carrying the ball around squeaking it until we finally put it up for a bit.

Since nothing lasts forever, though. we just ordered another one as one of her ‘Christmas presents,’ to be presented when this one finally breathes its last.

GREAT toy for a dog who is really hard on toys, usually tearing one apart in just a few minutes.


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Amber’s “Thumbs Up” Dog Toy List

Amber is super tough on dog toys. Some I’ve bought have lasted 5 minutes or less before she has the squeaker out and is trying to eat it, or has the stuffing out all over the floor, or has completely destroyed the toy, forcing us to throw it away.

I keep the toys after removing the rest of the stuffing and the squeakers, so essentially she’s playing with several different colors of ‘rags.’ Right now she has a dinosaur, a frog, a chicken, a teddy bear, a mallard duck and others I can’t remember in this category. I can still give her one of these and she will chew on it, or try to bring it to us for a game of tug of war.

I have lucked out and bought some toys that have lasted long enough for us to feel that we have gotten our money’s worth. The REALLY tough toys available, that are virtually indestructible, she won’t play with at all, showing absolutely no interest. Since we don’t want to spend money on those, we continue to get different ones that we hope will be wonderful, PLUS last for several days.

Amber is compiling a list of toys to which she has given a “THUMBS UP” rating – that are exciting, fun, and last a reasonably long period of time for someone who really loves to chew and who can figure out the weak spot in a toy really fast so that the toy is dismantled almost as soon as she gets it.



JW Pet iSqueak Bone Toy


This one squeaks only when she chews it really hard, so that’s a challenge she enjoys. It has almost no wear after having it several weeks.


Kong Jumbler Ball

This toy is really great. The outside is hard rubber with the places she can grab it easily with her teeth. There is a ball inside that tumbles around, making a bit of noise, and tantalizing. The outside squeaks. We’ve had this toy several weeks. It shows a bit of wear but it holding up remarkably well under really hard chewing.

Kong Wubba ClassicToy

This is a fun toy. Amber likes to carry it around by the tails, or by the head. Even though she deconstructed the top part, resulting in it having to be removed the rest of the way, the rest of the toy was still good. Now she has chewed most of the fabric on the larger round part, resulting in the squeaky part underneath almost coming out now. Even if she gets the squeaky out, it’s made of tougher stuff than most squeakies and she’s not in danger of swallowing it. The fabric part will still be fun to chew on.



Multipet Nobbly Wobby Ball

Amber really loved this toy. I say, “Loved” because it’s gone now. It did last several weeks. Amber loved it because it bounced really well, even on the carpet, and bounced funny on bare floors, intriguing her and keeping her interest. It also apparently was great to chew on because she did that relentlessly. She finally managed to chew through one of the rings, causing all of the parts to essentially disintegrate. I’m going to get her another one for Christmas, though because it’s a really creative design.

More toys to follow as we discover them.



Filed under Amazing Animals, Dog Products - Thumbs Up List, Family