Posted by: David | December 12, 2008

Oliver’s Toy Rat

This post is for fans of Oliver, the irascible Jack Russell terrier(ist) that lives with us. Last week I found this really ugly black plastic rat squeak toy at the dump. It was on the table of “possible reusables” that our transfer station attendants are kind enough to stock with all the stuff that people just might want to take back home with them after leaving off their own trash and recyclables. So I grabbed it, knowing that rodent-obsessed dog of ours would likely be interested. Even though it was totally fake and smelled nothing like any of the real rodents which occupy the rooms in the House of Oliver’s Mind.

Needless to say, he nearly went insane over it. We had to take it away from him after the first “session” with it. He ran around and around with it. Putting it down, picking it back up, licking his chops in such an insane way that I finally took it and rinsed it off in the sink, as I should have done in the first place, even though I trust my transfer station so much. Maybe someone covered it with doggy ecstasy? He got it back later in the afternoon, and did I mention it was a squeak toy? I think the squeaking really helped drive the action along. Even the cat was interested. It was hilarious. Here’s some YouTube video.

Later, after he’d finally chewed the rat to tiny pieces and performed an expert squeakerectomy, I showed him the video on the laptop. The squeaking made him cock his head every which way, but he never looked at the screen. Not once. Which surprised me since he’s such a visual dog, and we’ve noted him watching dogs on the TV when we’re into It’s Me Or The Dog or whatever canine crap they’re serving on Animal Planet channel …

In other news, we had a horrible ice storm that knocked out power to some 400,000 folks in New Hampshire, and many more in neighboring states. Thanks to the generator we bought after the last ice storm 10 years ago, we’re able to keep the lights on and the fridge going for a little while before it’s lights out till morning. And we have the woodstoves, so we won’t freeze. It’s a full moon tonight and the ice is incredibly beautiful on the trees, but evil at the same time. I couldn’t get a good picture of that, but this sunset was nice.




  1. I know it says a lot about me, but, this is my new favorite sentence:

    Last week I found this really ugly black plastic rat squeak toy at the dump.

    It says so much.

    I’m sure it won’t be your favorite for long, but thanks for that very nice compliment. And I’m not sure what it says about you, but whatever it is, I like it!

  2. Tell Oliver that Harpo the Fuzzy perked up her ears at the squeaking video, too. She’s now sitting on the coffee table waiting patiently while I type this. Perhaps she thinks I’ll play it again. Perhaps I shall.

    Yes, you should. You know you want to. 🙂 I cannot play it any more because Oliver goes nutty. I should put up the video of him listening to it on the laptop. Perhaps I shall …

  3. can’t read now because I have the flu, can’t see well. bye

    I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. First off, Oliver is adorable! I know how little dogs are with squeaky toys – its something about the noise , it used to make my mother’s dogs very possessive and aggressive ..Grrrr ! Sort of scary, but funny at the same time . Anyway he’s a cutie . I’ve said it before, and I’m sayin it again- I love the view of your backyard ! Its almost Narnia like !

    Thanks for commenting Joann. Oliver has his moments, for a dog with ADD and OCD! At least his antics ocasionally provide halfway decent web “content”.

  5. Did I misspell “Narnia”? I think I did…

    I’ve never read any of those books, but it looks correctly spelled to me. Thanks for the comment on the view. We do have a nice view to the west, some nearby wooded hills. Sometimes the lighting gets very dramatic. After the ice storm this sunset was kind of spooky, but pretty.

  6. What’s the music in the background? It’s really nice.

    Glad you like it! It’s from a Feist compilation album (July, 2006) called Open Season. It’s the beginning of a track called One Evening, played by “Gonzales“, a frequent Feist collaborator. Hope you have got electricity! 😦

  7. first of all — this message is powered by the lovely Marriott since we have not had power, heat or water since last Thursday! — and second of all I think you were duped — that was a REAL RAT! It was certainly gross enough to be!

    Wow, I thought you guys had a woodstove and stuff. I hope your power comes back really soon. Ours came back on last night.

    It WAS a realistic and ugly rat indeed, but definitely plastic. The remainder of its corpse-shell sits under our dining table, where Oliver likes to keep his important trophies.

  8. Oliver’s gaze says “Dad, you get me the *best* presents.”

    That’s a nice interpretation vermonter. You’d think that the little shit would be more grateful and not growl at me when I sit down too near on the couch. The other night he and the cat both were actually watching Cats 101 with us. I swear they both had their eyes and ears focussed on the screen. It was funny.

  9. Firstly…Oliver is adorable…as I had always thought. Secondly “maybe someone covered it with Doggy Ecstasy?” Hahaha…you kill me!

    And finally, I hope things are going better over there with all the ice and power outages…keep warm! 🙂

    Ya, he was like having his own little rave going on with that rat. After a few hours off, we gave it back and he started in with the squeak-chewing.

    Thanks for your well wishes. We kept the woodstoves going and ran the generator every few hours to keep the fridge and freezer and water systems up. Power came back on last night, but so many are still without and I have today and tomorrow off from work. 🙂

  10. RE: trying to talk “the wife” into getting sheep instead of the horse.

    But aren’t sheep a little impersonal? I remember you used to have some when the kids were small, and I forgot to ask whether you used to milk them. I remember you had to get somebody to shear them, but you did not say whether you processed the wool ?! Or is it sold or discarded? It feels so greasy on the sheep.

    But here some years ago I bought home spun wool and knitted it into a pullover that looked great. But it grew a lot each time I washed it, and so I had to turn it into a blanket.

    Their faces are much like a camel’s, between dumb and arrogant.

    As usual cantueso, you touch the heart of the matter. The horses have the ‘personality’ to which so many women seem irresistibly drawn … When we had sheep we did not milk them, but my wife sheared them and for some years spun the wool into yarn. She experimented with felt too.

    I do not understand how your pullover grew into a blanket. Every story I’ve ever heard of mistreated wool garments involves shrinking.

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