Just over 5 years ago we visited a dog rescue centre in Spain. We had been told by a friend who was a volunteer there that our next dog had arrived!. Our old dog "Henry Stop It" had died 18months previously and she said that we just did not look right without a dog. We were told that she was a 14month old Golden Retriever, the owners had driven up into the mountains where the rescue centre is and left her tied up and driven away. Strangely they had also left her dog "passport" that you have to have in Spain, which showed that she was due to have her next set of jabs. We said that we would go and have a look. Off we went up the tortuous dirt track to the dilapidated centre which is run by volunteers with big hearts. We were greeted by a man who said "You have come for the Goldie", to which we replied "No we have come to look at the Goldie" Then he let her go and a tatty, matted blond Goldie ran straight up to my husband and glued herself onto her leg ! So that was that.
Jessi was a sad dog, her tail did not wag and she smelt to high heaven. Her back was all small cuts and she hid every time you picked up a broom. Gradually she got more confidence and we bought all sorts of chewy type toys which at first she did not know what to do with. Then she learnt that life could be fun and tried to catch up on 14months of puppy hood. Chews were demolished. we bought bigger and bigger bones and dog chews. They were gone almost instantly, I could not find any thing that would stand up to her large gnashers. Then I spotted the Petstages Jack in a pet shop tacked on to the local vets. It looked almost indestructible. Made of clear blue non-toxic plastic it looks like an anti tank device you find on beaches. It is 17cm long from tip to tip of the arms and each of its arms has different shaps, triangles, circles or rings, moulded into it to stimulate chewing. It came with a colourful rope (which didin´t last long) tied through the open ends of two of the arms. At first Jess just looked at it occasionally and I though I had wasted my money. Then the rope got thouroughly chewed so we removed it in case she ate the whole lot .It was only when I threw it gently towards her on our balcony that we realised the potential . Jess went berserk and pounced on it bashing it with her large webbed paws. Because of it´s "Jack " like shape, it bounces in an irregular fashion, mimicking a duck being chased by a retriever type dog! The bouncing blue duck had been born!
The Flight of the Duck.
After a couple of trips to the flat below us to retrieve the duck! (Oops!) We went down to the garage which runs the length of the apartment block and found that this is where the duck excels. About 40metres in length, with only a couple of old cars in it, is ideal for duck hunting. This is how it goes. Enter the garage and pick up the duck. Jess will then turn pirouettes with excitement. Chuck it as hard as you can and watch it bound around the garage followed by Jess who eventually pounces on it, whacks it with her paws and trots back with it in her mouth. She will then plonk down at your feet and have a quick chew before the whole thing is repeated again!
This has gone on almost daily for the last three years. It´s looking a bit sad now as you can expect and occasionally I plonk it in a bucket of water mixed with vinegar to disinfect it. Jess will sit and stare at the bucket when this happens, willing the duck back to life. If it gets stuck under a car, I am the one that has to crawl under and get it, once setting off a car alarm, (Oops again!).
For us it is a great toy, not only does it fulfill Jess´s wish to chew but also her in built need to hunt. A bit like our own in built need to sing into hairbrushes and dance around the house. It is remarkable that it has lasted so long and I would recommend it for dogs that like to chew but do supervise them for the first few chews. It does need a hard surface and walls to be a really active duck, don´t try it indoors or all the ornaments will go flying but find a suitable space and you, like us will have years of fun.
5 stars for the wonderful blue duck.
I paid about 8 pounds for the large size. The mini version sell for 4.99pounds on Amazon. look out for it in pet shops and on line from petstages.
Jess and I thank you for reading our review which may also be posted on ciao under splishsplash.
On examining Jess´s dog passport we found she was born on Christmas Eve, the same birthday as my husband so there was no question of her going back to the recue centre!
This Petstages Jack-a-rope orka toy comes in two sizes small and medium.
A thick, bright red and yellow rope is pushed through the middle of the jack and knotted at the other end.
The jack itself is the main part of the toy. Blue in colour with a slight see through appearance, it has ends with different, slightly raised parts - two with circular rings, two with dots and two with triangles. The idea of this is to provide the dog with textures within the mouth providing interest. Made from a synthetic rubber which is apparently non-toxic and durable, this toy is meant for the chewers of the dog world.
The smaller version which I have only because it was the only one in the shop, is small enough for small dogs to pick up by the rope or possibly the jack end as it is 2cm, the whole thing is about 10cm in width. Saying that I believe it is meant for medium to big dogs as the website has mini orka toys for small dogs specifically. My big dogs love it to both pick up as a whole thing, swing around or play tug of war. Another little surprise for this toy is that it floats! This adds to the entertainment value for the dogs if you want to take to the beach or on a watery walk.
Having two big dogs which are chewers and can be destructive if they get bored, I thought this may be a fun alternative to kong toys I have also purchased. I am very impressed I have to say. We have had the toy for about 4 months now, which for a dog toy here is amazing to survive - only the truly loved or indestructible live! It is pretty much as good as new, no chunks missing The rope has come undone a couple of times but this is easily pushed back through the hole with the aid of some pliers.
Currently the jack-a-rope can be purchased for around £3-£4 on www.ebay.co.uk or £4-£5 on www.amazon.co.uk mine was purchased in a pet shop and was around £4 which I think is a real bargain to be honest. I would certainly recommend it for practically any dog and especially chewers!
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username