Your posts about your dogs are my favorite things on boingboing.
We added a photo, just for you.
Best cat puzzle-toy I've found so far was in a remainder bin at a drugstore; they had no idea what it was, and I paid $10 because that's what I offered them.
It's a 1.5"-thick MDF disk with pockets for treats carved into it. On one side there's a circle of pockets, and a spinning disk above them with a single hole (plus a few perforations for sniffing through); solution is to rotate the disk to the correct position to access the treat. On the other side, there are three channels with disks that slide sideways in the channels to uncover the pockets.
Simple, effective -- the parts move smoothly -- and just about the right level of difficulty for the cats to figure out workable strategies by trial and error. (One of my two knows what needs to happen on both puzzles and which general directions to paw what in to make that happen; the other can't quite do it reliably yet on his own.)
No idea who the manufacturer is.
Jason, does this look like it would work fine with a smaller dog? We have a runt Aussie Shepard puppy about 1/4 the size of your dog.
Pretzel is about 9lbs and she tosses it (and Nemo) around like a feather!
And now I have a favorite picture!
my Kelpie mix would destroy that thing in minutes. He hates plastic. He approves of the Kong toys filled with cheese or peanut butter mixed with kibble.
Same with our lab. Destroys pretty much anything, no matter how indestructible they claim to be, and with plastic, doesn't seem happy until she hears that satisfying "crack". Even a Kong eventually get's frayed at the opening to the point where we have to replace it, but they do last at least 6 months.
"Open the treat bay doors, Hal."
"I'm sorry, Biscuit. I can't do that."
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