Learning how to play

I don’t think we’ll ever forget the first time Spencer played with us. He had been so docile and calm, showing no interest in his toys. And then, one evening, I took the garbage out, and he watched me leave with mournful eyes. At that time, he found it hard to be alone for even a few minutes. When I came back, he went into a pounce stance, and, for a split second I thought he was going to get aggressive with me — and then I suddenly realized he wanted to play. So I pounced back, and he ran down the alleyway to the back of the house and came back again. It was a sort of tag and hide-and-seek rolled into one. He didn’t have a lot of endurance, so we only played for a few minutes.

Now, playing has become our eveing routine. Interestingly, Spencer rarely plays during the day and rarely when just one of us is home. For him, it’s something we do as a pack when everyone is there. 

He loves chasing after a ball and playing keep-away. He also loves tug-of-war.  We have some new toys that are big hits. A lot of people rave about Kong toys, and Spencer does like those simply because they contain food. But for pure fun, he seems to really like Orka toys by Petstages.


Even more fun than a ball, this jack bounces in all kinds of crazy directions when it’s thrown. Not only does he find that fun, we don’t have to run as much as we do when we all play fetch with a normal ball. It’s also a great chew toy, and one that is resisting amazingly to his strong jaws. The synthetic rubber that Orka toys are made out of is just a tiny bit squishy, with a subtle jelly quality and that seems to be preferable to harder rubbers.

Today, in Olympic spirit, Spencer got a new Orka toy made of two rubber rings connected by a rope ring. He went crazy about it! It can be chewed or thrown or makes a great tug toy. You can stack the rings on your jaw or shake it around like prey. It was a huge hit!



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