Ever have a “How did I not realize this before?” moment? Well, essentially my whole life is a never ending series of those moments. Normally these revelations are not worth mentioning (How did I not realize it would be easier to put on my pants then my shoes?) But yesterday I had an idea that – dare I say it – might just be useful to share.
Eko’s always had a solid stable of toys. But there comes a time when he inevitably “retires” a toy and loses interest
Eko’s antler is an exception, but he generally only gives it a passing chew now and again
I’ll buy new toys from the bargain bin, but of course it doesn’t take Eko long to destroy those. If I bought an Eko a new toy every time he destroyed the last one, I’d be broke in no time
Eko will ignore his bright, fun toys when I bring them to the park, but he is always happy to play with a stick
I have always found Eko’s practice of retiring toys a bit troublesome but I never gave it much thought. Until yesterday when I happened to find a ball Eko retired a few weeks ago. To my surprise, when I tossed the ball to Eko he happily pranced and pawed, as excited as if the ball was new.
And that’s when I had my palm-to-forehead realization. Pets need variety and novelty just as much as we do. Schedules, routines and habits are well and good but it’s important to shake things up. I wouldn’t want to play the same game every day, so why would Eko? Eko will play with a stick at the park simply because it’s not a familiar toy from home.
By unintentionally removing the ball from Eko’s environment, the reintroduction was a novel event. And like me, Eko enjoys rediscovering an old game he hasn’t played in a while.
I brought the ball to the park and Eko was completely focused on chasing it
So focused in fact, he pretty much jumped over my head when I tried to photograph his pursuit
My new plan is to put Eko’s durable toys into a rotating-retirement. Rather than most of them accumulating dust , I think the toys will get a good work out when reintroduced. Variety makes life interesting, for everyone. I will have to remember to change things up every once in a while.
Except for mealtime, of course. As far as Eko is concerned, some things should never change!