What's Your Squeaky Toy?

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By Tami Racaniello CPFT-HFI

My formerly extremely active dog, has been not her usual self. During an exam the vet “felt something”. Further testing showed that my Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix, Jacki, had a tumor the size of a lemon. Due to the location, the 50/50 odds given for her survival during surgery, and the fact that she had to be perfectly still for a week while she recovered, (Helloooo, we are talking Jack Russell mix here!), we took our chances and decided to not take the surgical option. She has been fine, but less active. Her activity level became as ambitious as my Lab/Rottie mix, Allie, who likes to lie down… a lot. 

Walking through a discount store, I saw a whole display of squeaky toys. Jacki and Allie both love them, except Jacki likes the noise of the squeak as she crunches the toy, and Allie’s objective is to see how fast she can pull out the stuffing. I had not gotten squeaky toys for either of them in some time, so I found a cute toy with squeakers on both ends for Jacki, and one with no stuffing for Allie.

I brought the toys home, and squeaked them. Both dogs came running in, all excited. The really cool thing is that when Jacki started playing with it, it was like there was nothing wrong with her. She was her energetic self, throwing the toy up in the air, pouncing on it, and happily grabbing it in her mouth to hear the squeak. After Jacki happily pulled the stuffing out (whoa…dogs reversing roles), she went on to playing with her tennis ball, and repeatedly bringing it to me to throw.

Since then Jacki has been much happier, and more active. I’m not sure why. The only thing I can think of, is that she may have been feeling a little depressed, and the squeaky toy helped Jacki find her “happy”.

So what’s your squeaky toy? What brings you so much joy that no matter how you are feeling, you are able to find happiness and purpose?

Hugs, health and happiness to you!


PS: In case you were wondering, Allie set her personal best in squeaker pulling – 1 minute 30 seconds. Doggie Olympics we are ready!

2 replies
  1. Doreen Guma
    Doreen Guma says:

    Tami, this is an amazing and fun analogy! Sometimes we are just so serious. We all need a squeaky toy!

    As I read your story I was reminded of my Weimaraner. It was a Christmas 9 years ago and he had congestive heart failure. We didn’t buy him a new dog bed for Christmas that year. Sad as it was, we knew he wasn’t going to be with us much longer. We had gotten him one for all of his 13 years. He was notably upset. The next day I went out and bought him one. You couldn’t imagine how happy he was, how he laid on it, and how he enjoyed it. Sometimes we need to be reminded that that little effort, that little gift, just saying hello, or that extra smile might make all the difference in the lives of another. Or, a dog bed or a squeaky toy. Thank you for a smile.

    • Tami Racaniello
      Tami Racaniello says:

      Thanks for your comment, Doreen, and for sharing the touching story about your dog. It is amazing the impact that one seemingly small thing can make. We sometimes forget that. To us it may seem like nothing, but to another person it is everything.

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