The act of eating rawhide has evolved into the equivalent of Baxter's magic disappearing act. Watch closely. Blink and you may miss it entirely. It wasn't always quite so speedy, his relationship with knotted bliss. When he first came into our home a chubby freely fed twenty-three pound pup, he didn't know what the stuff even was. He gingerly took his first rawhide from my hand, sniffed it, and left it on the ground while he explored his new backyard, in search of whatever wonderful smell was making his spidey senses tingle.
Settled for a few weeks, he gradually discovered the joys of rawhide but saw it as a pleasure to be taken in small amounts, slowly savored when not squirreled away in what sometimes was plain sight. In those days, he futilely but very cutely attempted to bury his bones in wall to wall carpet, using his nose to mound invisible dirt over his treasure. Sometimes, with a twinkle in his eye, he would check on his rawhide. Sometimes, I'd catch him gnawing on it in the midday sun, but never for long. Rawhide lasted for days.
As weeks turned into months and the pounds melted off his frame thanks to twice daily walks and a regulated feeding schedule, Baxter began burying his rawhide less frequently and eating it more vigorously. Once he became clued in to the fact that the all u can eat buffet was certainly and most definitely closed, rawhide lasted only minutes and a junkie was born. He is now so accomplished in the art of eating rawhide that he can down half a mini dingo treat in under fifteen seconds.
And so we are challenged in finding ways to extend the experience, lest we spend more than seven bucks a week feeding his Habit. Baxter's favorite rawhide consumption extender appeals to his inner doxie, and also helps him burn some calories in the process. Always up for the hunt, I think the giant shirt ball game is a keeper.
BTW - Baxter currently clocks in at eight minutes, down from the initial thirty minutes it took him to undo his first giant shirt ball. Of course, back then the six or so tees and towels we used were significantly less hole-y...