So I have this dog, Sugar. She’s a good girl, a 45 pound Lab mix that my husband and I adopted from the local animal rescue group. We adopted her at 7 months old, so she came to us with lots of interesting… quirks. It took us two days to get her to walk through the front door (she had to be carried). She crawled under a baby gate to get into the cat’s room, but lay down and patiently waited for me to let her out of said room instead of crawling back under. It takes her an hour to be interested in breakfast, but once she starts eating, she finishes her bowl within minutes.
She also likes toys. Any toys. Or any toy-like items. She’ll play equally eagerly with a bone as with a stuffed toy. One of her favorite activities is to rip a hole in a stuffed toy and methodically take out all of the stuffing.
We have come up with several alternatives to buying Sugar new toys (which we also do). There’s the Stuff-and-Stitch, where I restuff a toy and sew up the hole she ripped in it. Mr. Pig has had this procedure many times. There’s the Bargain Buy: picking up stuffies at garage sales or the thrift store in town. A quick wash, and they are ready to go. Then there is my latest project, the Upcycle.
Did you know that t-shirts could be turned into yarn? There are some great tutorials on the interwebs on how it is done; turns out it’s pretty easy. Moving to Arizona gave my husband and I a chance to go through boxes that had been packed for quite some time. Among the “treasures” was a box of old clothing for me to play with.
The first project I worked up was a crocheted “whale” out of t-shirt yarn. Sugar decided that it was for her when she saw me grab a squeaker that I had rescued from another ripped-up toy. She not-so-patiently waited until I was finished stitching it together. And then it took her an hour to rip a hole in the bottom. After hour two (and a different day), she had unstuffed it completely, ripped off a fin, and partially unstitched the seam. Back to the drawing board for this particular project.
She still plays with it, though. She seems to prefer it to her other stuffed toys, which she abandons as soon as they are unstuffed. It has already lasted far longer than it took me to make it, so the experiment was a success. Up next: yarn from newer and hopefully stronger shirts and a flatter way of starting the project.