Mongo and His Toys

Mongo is a lab.  In fact, he is a 5 year old boy lab.  And he acts like it.  He loves critters, and mud, and getting dirty, and romping in the school yard as much as any other five year old.

All of our previous dogs have been golden retrievers.  They were good family dogs; very reliable, and very family oriented.  However, for the most part they have not had much interest in having fun for the sake of fun.  Mongo is the epitome of fun.  Now, make no doubt about it, he is a good companion dog, and very family oriented too.  In fact, he still loves to sleep with his brother Drewbie whenever Drew comes home to visit.  There are a lot of other similarities too; neither breed is above snitching a tasty morsel off the kitchen table when no one is looking.  Mongo once stole an entire roast chicken right out from under Mom-mom’s nose.  Whereas Sandy the golden once liberated a heart shaped pink birthday cake, originally destined for Kimi’s birthday party, from the dining room table.

But the big difference  between the breeds is: Mongo just loves to have fun.  The goldens were much more restrained in their behavior. Even when they were pups they always acted in a more dignified manner.  At 5, Mongo still gambols around in the yard like he’s a pup.  He loves to play fetch or keep-away with anyone.  And he loves toys.

Mongo and Bunny

Mongo and Bunny

Bunny is his current favorite.  For a dog, he takes pretty good care of his toys. He occasionally rides with a toy in his mouth and his head out the car window.  He has not dropped one from the car yet.  Neither of our other kids could say that when they were 5.  And speaking of dropping things from the car, Pippin the golden once pushed Bonnie the golden right out the back window! (Yes, Pippin lowered the electric window, but Dad doesn’t think it was intentional.  Mom-mom feels otherwise.)

Now Mongo’s toys are not museum pieces. Bunny has required emergency surgery, but that’s because Spork, the other famly dog, ripped the stuffing out of Bunny’s feet.  Kimi graciously re-stuffed Bunny, and now Spork is forbidden to touch Bunny.

Even though Bunny is store bought, Mongo does not need store bought toys to have fun.  Like any good five year old, he can be as happy playing with something from the recycling bin as he is playing with something from the pet store.  For Mongo, an old paper towel tube or a milk jug can be just as much, if not more fun than an expensive toy from the store.  He reminds me of the days in the sandlot, when a discarded appliance carton was probably the most fun toy we ever had.  Financially, since Spork has a propensity to KILL things like stuffed toys, sometimes recycled toys are a better deal.  Paper towel tubes are easy to replace.

Paper Towel Tube

Paper Towel Tube

For example, this morning, Mongo raced around the kitchen with a plastic milk jug in his mouth.  He batted it and chased back and forth, until he was exhausted.  (To see the video, click  HERE.)

Mongo and His Milk Jug

Mongo and His Milk Jug


And when push comes to shove, Mongo will find a way to play even if he has no toy.  This afternoon, all of his recycle toys were back in the bin, and his furry toys were all in the wash.  So he managed to teach Spork how to play tag.  (To see that video, click HERE.)

Drewbie summed it up one day when he said, “I loved the goldens, but we should have added a lab to the family long ago!”

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