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Aside from our 12 grandchildren, I am the proud grandmother of 2 puppies! My son and his family have a Corgi mix pup named Pretzel who has beautiful coloring and is super sweet. She jumps higher than any puppy I have ever seen. Also, Maddy has a Bernedoodle named Boots. Boots lives at our house with Maddy right now. He is such a playful puppy who has endeared himself to all of us. He has been a comfort to us as we went through months of trials at the end of last year and into January.
Since he has Poodle in him, he doesn't shed much, so that is really nice in helping to keep puppy messes down. The one thing that really drives me crazy though is the STUFFING! Store bought dog toys are pretty much ridiculous. They are usually made out of thin fabric full of stuffing that the dog quickly gnaws through and then rips all of the fluffy white stuffing out of it. One minute, the carpet in my living room is vacuumed and nice and then 2 minutes later it looks like there has been a snowstorm with white stuffing drifting everywhere. Not to mention the sad, empty carcass of the toy laying in the middle of the floor!
That mess is one of the things that motivated me to come up with some puppy toys that wouldn't end up shredded so quickly and messily that Boots and Pretzel would enjoy. The second thing that pushed me to get creative with this is that poor Boots had to be neutered almost 2 weeks ago, which meant he had to wear a cone around his neck to keep him from licking the offending area. I have never seen a puppy look so sad and despondent as Boots did in that cone. I was excited to make him some toys to reward him for surviving 10 days in the cone when he was free from it!
If you will remember, I did an entire series of articles about recycling old jeans. I decided that nice heavy denim would be perfect to make dog toys out of and that there would be no fluffy stuffing in sight!
Boots loves to play tug o' war and he had chewed through a couple of ropes and tore other toys in half playing it. I had a nice heavy denim pair of jeans from one of my sons that I used to make these projects. The first thing I made for Boots was the tug o' war rope made by braiding the seams of the jeans into a very tough rope. Click on the photos below to read the directions.
Cut 3 strips of seams, clipping them close to the seam. Then braid them as you would a pony tail. I tried to keep the seams flat as I braided so that the braid would look nice. At the bottom, I left tails, but wrapped the center tail around the other 2 tails and used strong thread to stitch it together .
Remember, it is for a dog, so it doesn't need to look perfect. Boots has loved it so far.
Next, I made a dog bone shape. I simply drew the shape right onto the denim and I made it 4 layers thick. After stitching it all around the outer edge, I used a decorative stitch about an inch from the seam and stitched around it again. This worked to add body and structure to the bone. I thought about putting the little watch pocket out of the jeans onto the bone to use to hide a treat in, but I realized that Boots' snout is too big for that little pocket. Maybe it will work for Pretzel. Boots likes to chew on this toy and loves to tug on it as well. He will also try to catch it if I toss it in the air for him. You can see that I drew right on the fabric with a marker. Boots doesn't seem to mind. If you want a different look, you could make a paper pattern or use a different color marker.
Not the best picture, but it is so hard to get a playful puppy to be still for a photo!
It has been 24 hours since I gave these toys to Boots and so far they are none the worse for wear. I'll let you know how they hold up, but I know for sure that they won't be worse than some of the toys we have purchased. Also, If you have any ideas that I can use for more puppy toys, feel free to let me know.
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Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!