Chase the Artichoke, Rip

9:15 am

My parents have a lovely dog named Rip (after actor Rip Torn). He is one fifth Great Dane, so you can just imagine the size of him - colossal. But he's the sweetest, gentlest beast you'll ever meet.

He needs a lot of attention and exercise and lately, he's been in a slump due to the warm weather and sore hips.

Walks and tummy rubs weren't doing the trick, so when I saw orbee-tuff produce from Planet Dog, I thought, "This is it!"

There is an artichoke, eggplant and strawberry to choose from. They are heavy-duty plastic, so I knew that Rip would have them for awhile, unlike most dog toys that fall apart after he's had at 'em for a mere five minutes. And you place a treat inside for the dog to snuffle out.

Now it was time for the test.

My parents put in a treat and took Rip out to the backyard. They threw it off the deck and away he went after it. These toys bounce like crazy and thus, it went straight under the deck. After my Mom tried to get it, she called my Dad, who faithfully crawled under the deck and got the artichoke. He threw it again and after much bouncing, Rip retrieved it and spent about 15 minutes trying to get the treat out. He almost had it, but not quite, so he barked at it.

Then my parents tried the eggplant. He loved chasing it as it bounced around the garden and did eventually get the treat out.

This is after an hour of leaping and jumping, barking and tail-wagging.

I think it's great that the treat doesn't just automatically pop out. Dogs need a challenge and like working on problems. Rip was so happy to have something to really work on and he worked his way out of his slump.

These toys are 100% satisfaction guaranteed and have a slight minty taste that dogs love (just leave your toothbrush out one night and see what happens).

Each toy has a chew-o-meter rating (e.g. "4 out of 5 chompers") and your purchase helps fund canine service programs.

I know that dogs can be extremely particular when it comes to what they will play with and what keeps their attention, but I highly recommend the produce. It's the only toy that's managed to stand up to Rip's rigorous testing - and ours too.

Next weekend, we break out the strawberry...

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