Last-minute gifts for the dog who has – or chews – everything.

Because of the chaos that comes with taking your dog to the store for a holiday present, instead consider giving him a gift card or, depending on the breed, cash.

While some consider gift giving to dogs both an indulgence and cra-cra, the practice is part of the rich tapestry of American history. Although possessed of only meager goods, early settlers often gifted their loyal canines with birch bark canoes and cholera.

Available nowadays are effective medications for cholera as well as subway tokens, but pet owners seem to favor gifts that are more personal. Below is a guide to the most popular gifts dogs are raving about this year.

Virtual reality glasses

Once thought the exclusive domain of humans and teenagers, virtual reality has proved a hit among dogs bored with the selection of trees in their neighborhood.

<em>Promotional VR glasses distributed by the New York Times. <i>Note to NYT:</i> Never deliver Virtual Reality Glasses to a home that has an Actual Reality Terrier.</em>
Promotional VR glasses distributed by the New York Times. Note to NYT: Never deliver Virtual Reality Glasses to a home that has an Actual Reality Terrier.
There are benefits and drawbacks to dogs wearing virtual reality glasses. On the plus side, VR opens a kaleidoscopic world of colors, hues and tints to your dog, which, of course, he only sees in black and white.

The negatives, however, are twofold. First, dogs will not wear glasses, and second, Hell no, dogs will not wear glasses! So, while we await developments in the virtual reality dog cone market, let’s move on to

Dog apparel

Sensible and practical pet apparel comes in two popular varieties: coats that can be peed on, and booties that can be chewed. Let’s examine both from a distance.

Winter can be tough on dogs, depending on the nature of their fur and their willingness to pay a reasonable share of the heating bills. A good jacket is best determined by the quality of its insulation and the number of dancing cartoon puppies across the fabric.

Boots – or “booties”, as they are known by the mountain Sherpa of Nepal – provide a canine invaluable protection from snow, ice, and road salt. Ideally, dog booties should feature non-slip soles, and be fabricated of a weather-resistant synthetic material or a natural animal hide, although preferably not dog. Even if it’s another dog, not yours.

Putting booties on a dog – especially a terrier – is much like putting booties on a raging, uncontrolled forest fire, but a lot more risky.

GIANT 2: “Dave, could you help me strap on Budleigh’s booties?”

GIANT 1: “Jeez, hon, can’t he just crap all over the house until spring? I’m really OK with that.”

GIANT 2: “I’ll offer him a cookie while you hold him by his collar, head, teeth, neck, chest, belly, and fetlocks.”

BUDLEIGH: “I have fetlocks? Are fetlocks cheese?”

GIANT 1: “OK, got him. Good Budleigh! Gooooood Budle—Wait! Wait! His head! It’s swinging your way!”

GIANT 2: “Hold him still! Hold him still!”

BUDLEIGH: “That’s your only warning!”

GIANT 2: “Dave, the head’s coming back your way!”

GIANT 1: “No, his jaws are still over there. Wait! Here they come. Prepare to jibe! Prepare to jibe!”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m so gonna bite your fetlocks!”

With a new dog coat somewhat secured and booties left shredded in a heap several block behind us, we now should consider

<b>Oxford and Penguin, BFFs for about 20 minutes.</b>
Oxford and Penguin, BFFs for about 20 minutes.
Stuffed animals

As the owner of a terrier, I am not equipped to offer guidance in the selection of a playful dog toy with the look and feel of a small vermin that squeaks in realistic terror when chewed. Watching Budleigh or his predecessor, Oxford, our formerly alive terrier, “play” with a stuffed animal is gruesome. Like a National Geographic Channel program, “Vanishing Wildlife of the Serengeti” where we observe who is vanishing. Or at least where their heads are going.

Brisby the Buddhist believes all life, even that which is stuffed, is sacred. Unlike his terriers, he does not hunt for pleasure or sustenance, for he is One with the Can Opener. Through a succession of stuffed animals, he has tried to impart wisdom to his terriers, with mixed results. Brisby is not exactly a success story of higher education.

BRISBY: “What have you there, young one?”

BUDLEIGH: “I don’t know. It used to be, like, a purple squirrel or something. It had a little bell, too. But I fixed that good!”

BRISBY: “This purple squirrel, was it not but a toy? Did it not pose you no harm? Was it not stuffed? Did it not live but not at all?”

BUDLEIGH: (Pausing mid-shred) “Wait! What?”

BRISBY: “What?”

BUDLEIGH: “What does that mean?”

BRISBY: “Which?”

BUDLEIGH: “That middle part.”

BRISBY: (Ponders deeply.) “I lost my bootie.”

BUDLEIGH: “All of them?”

BRISBY: (Enlightened) “There was more than one?”

BUDLEIGH: “Look, you wanna tear up some a’ this purple squirrel?”

BRISBY: “Maybe just the stuffing. Wait! What’s a ‘purple’?”

BUDLEIGH: “It’s like grey.”


Sleeping between Giants explores life – if you can call it that – with a terrier.

Your feedback is welcome, probably. dj

6 thoughts on “Last-minute gifts for the dog who has – or chews – everything.

  1. Am I cruel for not getting Jake booties? He does that “oy, vey iz mir” walk after going through white salted sidewalks and roads. And, why can’t everyone just use pet safe salt?

    1. As I recall, Debra, Jake has been known to “borrow” your shoes. Apparently, that wasn’t a fetish, but rather a message. Buy that dog his own pair of Doc Martens immediately! dj

    1. Thanks, Nancy! So glad that it made you laugh and laugh. However, sometimes that reaction is due to being over-medicated. Please check! dj

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