By Ryn Gargulinski: Freedom Newspapers
The other morning’s meditation was blanketed with its usual soothing lulls; but it was also punctuated by a new sound — a sickly, squeaky noise.
My dog was eating my pet rat!
As I bolted out of the semi-lotus position, nearly knocking over the Chinese red spice incense, I hurled myself toward the noise, ready to scream, turn red and cry.
Instead I had to laugh.
Rather than finding my beloved rat dissected by the curious teeth of a miniature pincher, I found the rat safe inside his rolly ball knocking against the bathroom door and the dog chewing on the chintzy orange ball with the smiley face on it. The ball made a sickly, squeaky noise while the smiley face seemed to leer at me, as if it knew it were part of a ruse.
This led me to a startling revelation — dog toys are evil.
No, they are not possessed by demonic forces, like the ex who stalked me, but they are certainly lacking in charm.
Perhaps evil is too strong a word. Let’s just say they could use some improvement.
First off, the noises emitted by these toys should not match the sounds of something dying.
This includes pet rats, rare birds or squirrels hit by big sedans. Nor should they sound like blenders, garbage disposals or all those other annoying kitchen appliance noises they all end up sounding like at 3 in the morning.
Perhaps they should have a noise default system. Say, after three or four continuous squeaks the toy would stop squeaking for an hour or so. This would not only improve the toy’s allure — the dog could spend time sitting quietly wondering when her toy would squeak again — but it would improve concentration for those very important household tasks like reading a book about the Lindbergh kidnapping.
Speaking of books, the toys should not be made to resemble them, either. Nor should they be constructed to mimic pet rats, steak knives, fuzzy slippers or any other “real” thing that a dog may later mistake as a toy.
Since my dog and I have about 82 1/2 of her toys scattered about the house, they should also manufacture the toys with the home’s color scheme in mind.
Perhaps an interior designer should be consulted and, instead of offering only smiley face balls in bright orange, they could package them in hues like brazen beige, mint melange and Tudor pink. Whole sets of toys could be sold in complementary color schemes. They could even sell them in the home section next to — and matching — the decorator pillows.
The dog toy packages could even come with those cardboard things that showcase five different shades in the same color family so we could compare the colors at home.
That way we could ensure the toys will match the decor and use the spare cardboard things as bookmarks for the Lingbergh book (since the dog likes to chew up the bookmarks).
True, it will be a tad more difficult not to step on a toy if it matches the carpet’s color scheme, but that can fixed. The toys shouldn’t hurt when you step on them. Every time a pang shoots up my leg and I’m ready to go buy crutches, I only need to glance down to find an orange smiley ball. Or the half-chewed rawhide. Or any other of the 82 1/2 toys strewn about the house.
Sensors could be installed into the toys, like that vacuum that vacuums by itself.
This way the toys will move before we plop our foot down. It will also ensure the toy doesn’t get lodged beneath the couch, in the flower garden or under the bed, where my cousin and I once found melted Easter candy sometime in December.
Surely none of these enhancements will deter the dog from actually playing with the toys. It’s just something they do.
Cats, on the other paw, will watch us unwrap a $600 super- duper-deluxe cat condo only to play in the box.
And rats don’t really play with anything; they simply chew stuff into little shreds.
So the dog deserves her toys — with all their improvements — as we deserve some peace to meditate, know our rat is safe and finish the Lindbergh book.
Ryn Gargulinski writes for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. Contact her at: