Charlie, like many dogs, has a single goal when it comes to dog toys: seek and destroy. Charlie’s needle-like nose probes the seams of a stuffed toy, searching for the tiny stitches hidden beneath the fur. His razor sharp teeth delicately pull at the threads like a musician expertly plucking the strings of a harp. A very small and precise hole appears and Charlie carefully removes the stuffing in order to retrieve the prize within: the plastic squeaker! Watching his determination, I remember, as a child, opening the Cracker Jack box from the bottom in order to possess the prize inside, typically a lick and stick tattoo.

Charlie also has a fondness for tennis balls. He chases the yellow ball when thrown or kicked until he tires of the game of “fetch but don’t bring back”. I usually run out of energy before he does. His affection for tennis balls does not end there. Charlie will often hold a ball between his front paws and peel away the fuzzy yellow covering like an orange. It is not unusual to have bits of yellow stuck to the carpet, furniture and even my clothing.

It was purely by accident that the indestructible toy was discovered. I’m not even sure when it appeared in the plastic toy box shaped like a bone, but it has become Charlie’s greatest challenge to date. It is a blue racquetball. The kind that you dodge when trapped in a treacherous indoor court while your father yells at you to stop cowering in the furthest corner. The powerful blue ball that you deflect with your racquet weapon, saving yourself from potential concussions and broken fingernails. The ball that comes in a set of three in a vacuumed-packed plastic tube at a Wal-Mart bargain price.

The ball that Charlie cannot puncture, peel, rip or chew. The ball that occupies him for endless hours while he tries to puncture, peel, rip and chew. The indestructible, economical and highly recommended (as long as you don’t throw it at me) toy.
Penn Penn Ultra Blue Racquetball 3 Ball - Can

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