My standard poodle, Bix, who is 18 months old, is a big-time player. He loves his toys with a fiery passion. Every night he instigates a game of fetch in the house and throughout the day he plays with his toys on his own. His very favorite fetch toy is an unassuming plush peanut.
Here he is with his peanut. (You can see the peanut shell in a shot further down.)
I tend to be sort of minimalist in my life, but I have a confession. Bix has an abundant collection of amazing toys. (Some might call it overabundant.) And he gets more every month. But here’s the thing: he plays with almost all of them. We keep the toys in a laundry basket from IKEA and he frequently digs around in it looking for a specific toy. So it’s hard to declutter them (though I think I could probably safely remove a few).
Why does he have so many? Because of BarkBox. It’s a subscription service for dogs that delivers a themed box of toys, treats and chews every month. The themes are so darned clever. They make the humans smile. And they make the poodle ecstatic.
This was the December BarkBox, which had a winter theme.
Bix seems to recognize the BarkBox box (or, more likely, he recognizes our reaction to the BarkBox box) and he sits down politely and waits for us to open it. Then he goes nuts playing with his new toys. It’s truly a joyous thing.
Here he is on BarkBox day with his new zombie cat. I think that was October.
One of the things I love about BarkBox is that almost all of the toys are made for them and therefore unique. And they are are so clever and cute (and funny!). They’re pretty durable. Bix enjoys de-squeakering toys and pulling out the stuffing (thankfully, he doesn’t eat the squeakers or the stuffing) and then he enjoys playing with the toy carcass. We have thrown away very few toys.
Here’s Bix surrounded by the toys he selected to play with that day.
Bix likes to take favorite toys to the windowsill where he watches the world from the back of the couch. Here are his rucksack and his Polaroid camera, from the travel-themed BarkBox, and (of course!) his peanut.
When you subscribe to Barkbox for at least three months, you can get a free extra month by using my subscription link. (And Bix gets a free month too!) I found that after my three-month subscription was up I could go month to month. You tell them the size of dog you have and whether there are any food allergies (for the treats). Bix has been a subscriber since he was eight weeks old, so he went from Medium (“Just Right” to a Large (“Big & Bold”) as he grew up. He’s now 60 pounds.
The declutterer in my wants to stop Bix’s subscription. But the dog mom in me doesn’t. It brings such joy to Bix. And the toys don’t take up that much room, right?
Again, if you have a dog and want to give it a try, you can use this link and you’ll get an extra month added to your subscription. And Bix will too!