Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Brown Bear

The other day, while walking Olga through the neighborhood, I passed a chi-chi little pet boutique called Mungo & Maud. Billed as "dog & cat outfitters," the store specializes in products that are "minimalist yet tactile with a strong use of natural materials." I filed it away in the back of my mind -- a possible shopping destination for dog stuff.

Yesterday, I needed a chew toy for Olga. We bought her a Kong ball when we first got her, and her relentless chewing had worn it down to a soggy, ragged mass of solid rubber. She destroys ordinary tennis balls in a matter of minutes. So I knew it had to be something tough.

The two of us popped in to Mungo & Maud and asked what was available. The sales clerk showed us an assortment of toys, most of which were very soft rubber -- toys that Olga would have trashed in no time.

But they did have a hard rubber bear -- the one at left, in a photo from the Mungo & Maud web site. It seemed likely to resist Olga's choppers at least for a little while, so I bought it, at the absurd price of £18.50. (As I said, it's a chi-chi boutique.)

Well, I gave it to Olga when we got home, and I took the top photo about half an hour later. Soon afterward, when the crumbs were even smaller, I threw it all away. (I watched her during the demolition process, and while she was very careful not to ingest the pieces, I thought it was getting risky.) The brown bear did not pose as much resistance as I had hoped. Maybe it's meant to be more of a tuggy toy than a chew toy -- hence that open ring in the middle?

Olga loved it. She loved it to death.

I don't fault the product. It's just that Mungo & Maud is made for cute and noble Notting Hill dogs of pedigree, dogs that would appreciate minimalist design aesthetics and natural materials. Olga is an East London bruiser. Design is not her strong suit.


  1. I think you better just start visiting the butcher and getting that dog some sort of large mammal leg bones to gnaw on. That's probably advised against these days but I'd do it anyway. That dog needs to chew.

  2. Olga! You chewed up your chi-chi toy you bad girl! You had fun though, didn't you? Poor Mr. Brown Bear!

    aaaaaahhhhhh, Steve! That is scary. Good thing she didn't eat any pieces. I would not have let her get that far, but then again I've seen too many dogs in surgery for ingested pieces of various things and these look dangerous. I don't want this to come off sounding preachy, but some dogs I've known have not made it because the offending piece was in their intestines too long and caused septicemia. So I tend to be overly paranoid. ;)

    The minute I see my dogs chewing chunks off a toy or bone it goes in the trash.

    My dogs are heavy chewers too and the only thing they can have to chew on are the heaviest duty type of Nylabones. Anything rubbery, vinyl, with ropes (a real no-no for dogs! I have a story about that!) are taboo in my house. Nylabone makes these little dinosaurs with bumps that hold up really well and also some tough bones. You need to make sure they are the heavy chewer kind because they do make some that are made of lighter stuff and those aren't tough enough.

    If you want me to show you what toys I am talking about you can email me and I'll send you links as examples. Hopefully they will hold up to Olga's heavy-hitter East London chomping.

  3. Ms Moon: We've given her some natural bones but they seemed to upset her stomach. (Or it might have been the meat attached to them -- who knows.)

    Lynne: I was watching her carefully, making sure she spat the pieces out -- and as I said, I tossed the loose ones. But thanks for worrying about her, seriously. I do need to learn what I can get away with and what is too dangerous! I know to stay away from ropey stuff. I haven't heard of Nylabones -- I'll have to look for those. I bought her another Kong, and that is proving to be quite a challenge for her. No pieces coming off yet!

  4. damn, i've been soooo behind i totally missed out the arrival of olga - i had to go back and play catch up to see when she joined your and dave's family.

    what a sweet sweet looking dog!!


    february resolution become better keeping up!

    hugs. xxxxx

  5. following up a comment i made on an earlier introduction to olga post, check out this link.

  6. That photo of her is HILARIOUS. Our dog is only a white poodle, but she is capable of ripping through tennis balls very quickly as well, and seven years after getting her, we've never found anything that remotely stands up to her chewing. She is well-behaved, thank god, and does nothing more dangerous than going through wastepaper baskets and chewing up tissues and paper towels, but if you find something that Olga can really gnaw on for a while, let me know!

  7. Too funny! I can imagine what is going on in her mind. She's probably say...What were they thinking? They should know better. Olga might do well in a job testing these very chi-chi items.

  8. hahahaha well, that was money well spent...I might have taken the pieces back to the shop and put them by the others as an example of what REAL dogs do to posh little doggie items.
    (feeding your fish- STOP ME!!!)

  9. Olga's lookin like: "I don't know how this happened; I'm just as confused as you are."

    Hilarious that she left the belly-button hole intact.

  10. Mouse: Thanks for the link -- I love those old photos. We're still a little confused about whether Olga really is a pit bull, or just a close relative. I suppose it doesn't really matter. The main thing is she's adorable! (And despite her destruction of the Brown Bear, she is VERY well behaved.)

    Elizabeth: Have you tried a Kong? And what is it about dogs and paper? Olga loves ripping up paper as well.

    Helene: Ha! Indeed. Mungo and Maud should hire her!

    Linda Sue: I'm glad you feed my fish. You're much more attentive to them than I am. :)

    Nancy: Yeah, she seemed to be saving it for last! It was demolished too, shortly after I took the photo.

  11. I'm loving that you are going through the exact same trials and tribulations as we are! It's nice to log on and get a different perspective from a fellow new dog owner. I hear what you mean about the destruction - Skye completely annihilated her Kong within a day! You should get a Nylabone ( They have awesome and stuff and pretty indestructible. They have cooked in flavours too so the dogs love them.

  12. Henry is a relentless chewer and destroyer of tennis balls also. The only dog toy that has proven Henry-Proof is a tire shaped toy called the "Tire Biter"