Fluff & Tuff Defeats Toy Terrorists

Sometimes I think I might as well give my dogs money to chew on because they can destroy a normal dog toy in minutes. Lasting a day is notable.

For gnawing, deer antlers win out around here, paws down. But this search has been for toys, those that can be tossed and tugged by people and dogs alike.

We have two pointers and a shepherd mix. If there was some sort of competition for ripping out seams and gutting toys, they would be international champions.Sammy at Easter

So we are always on the lookout for a toy made to last. For years we’ve been disappointed, but 2014 has been a good year for dog toy manufacturers. We’ve found several that are holding up.

Now, mind you, I would not waste your time with toys that lasted a couple days or weeks. These have held up for months — truly noteworthy! Today I’ll tell you about my new favorite plush toy.

Let me give huge props to this new line, called Fluff & Tuff, that I discovered at Petsakes in Des Moines. I have been amazed by one Fluff & Tuff toy, “Peanut the Chipmunk,” because it has been in my house for several months now and still has all seams intact. This line was new at Petsakes and I thought if they were confident enough to put the word “Tuff” in their name and “durable” in their description, I’d give them a try.

tagAt $11.75, I was game, but my expectations were not high and for good reason: Peanut had a tail. Those of you who live with canine toy terrorists know what I mean. The first thing that goes is anything that sticks out—eyes, ears, tails, feet. Any cute detail is amputated immediately.

So as we all do with the “new” toy, I let them play with it a bit but put it up. But after a while we all eventually forget to take that new toy away and they play with it to death.

But darn if Peanut kept his tail, his seams, his ears and even his nose!toy

So I looked this company up. Good news is that this is a Detroit-based company; the bad news is that the products are made in China, BUT I believe the company owners are doing an exceptional job of quality control. These toys are produced in a factory certified by the International Council of Toy Industries. Didn’t expect that.

Then, all toys are double scanned to verify there are no metal objects. Nice.

An ultra plush fabric with a mesh liner is used, the seams are double stitched and concealed. I didn’t think it was possible to hide a seam from my two Pointers.

And they list a new, non-toxic polyester fiber stuffing. Can polyester be toxic? Well, it is polyester. At our house everything usually gets gutted and tossed before there is any chance of ingestion.

So Peanut lives on and will likely be joined by other toys from the Fluff & Tuff stable.

libIf you have a toy terrorist in your house I recommend you give a Fluff & Tuff toy a try.  www.fluffandtuff.com

Muzzlebump 🙂

Transport Driving: What’s In It For You?

I’m relatively new to animal-rescue transport, but I can tell you I will be helping the transport teams as long as I have a driver’s license.


If you’re new to the subject, let me toss out a quick definition:  Pick up a dog or group of dogs at Point A and take them to Point B.  It’s easy.

There are groups all over the country, from your local shelter to Pilots for Paws, who coordinate getting dogs from overpopulated areas with high turnover kill shelters to under-populated areas with coordinated foster homes and more no-kill shelters or breed rescues.

The group I volunteer with is Paws on Wheels.  Every single weekend they start in Altus, Oklahoma, generally with about 10 – 20 dogs and the journey starts toward destinations in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois.


To get there it takes a village.  Drivers usually volunteer for a leg of about 80 – 120 miles, one way.  My last transport was a two-hour drive down to Bethany, Missouri, to pick up nine little souls (six of them puppies) and deliver them to a driver in Des Moines who was headed to Hampton, Iowa.

I was down and back by lunch time.

A sweet little Pittie mix

When I tell my friends about my recent transports, or post pictures on Facebook, I often hear how that is so giving of me – so selfless.  Well, that’s one way to look at it.  But the truth is, I get plenty out of these runs.  I meet the coolest people (many have their kids with them to assist and learn the value of volunteering), some who do this every single weekend.  I usually learn something – maybe about a new type of collar or crate, special food or medication. Last transport I learned that a good audio book calms even the most nervous little Min Pin.

And you just can’t beat it for the gratification of helping those who can’t help themselves.


I urge you to try it. You just need a dependable vehicle and the commitment to show up on time.  If you’re reading this I already know you love dogs.

Just call your local rescue or shelter. They will hook you up. If you want to check out groups who travel through central Iowa, I recommend AHeinz57 and Paws on Wheels:

AHeinz57 – www.AHeinz57.com – click on their Volunteer Application

AHeinz57 – on Facebook 

Paws on Wheels – on Facebook

Email Paws on Wheels: PawsOnWheels@yahoo.com

Muzzlebump! 🙂