Bounce to the Beat

February 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

I was waiting to catch my bus at Sunset Way in Clementi when I noticed a pet shop on the ground floor of the HDB block just behind the bus stop. Since I had some time to spare, I decided to walk in and have a look-and-see. Polypet is impressively stocked with merchandise for dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, etc. You can tell this is a neighbourhood haunt for pet owners residing in the area because of the familiarity shown by the staff towards some of their customers. As it was my first visit to Polypet, I didn’t exactly receive a warm welcome but neither was I completely ignored. I suppose the level of customer service can be considered average—after all, it takes time to build rapport.

I had no intention of buying anything, but a walk down the aisle of toys made me change my mind. Polypet has quite an amazing selection of toys for dogs. What caught my attention was an orange ball called the ‘Huck’, which is manufactured by West Paw Design and made in the USA. I was interested in this product because, first, it claims to be eco-friendly and, second, its unique design means that the ball will bounce and roll in wayward directions, thereby creating a fun challenge for dogs that love the thrill of a chase. Knowing that Maple would enjoy playing with the Huck, I made the purchase (S$17.65 less 10% with in-house store discount) and did a quickstep to the bus stop to catch my transfer home.

Maple instantly grew an attachment for the Huck: she loves to chase it, tackle it down, then chew on it, all the while making funny little growling sounds. It’s true what the designers say about the Huck—it is very durable (well, that is, for the jaws of a small dog) and it does move about in somewhat unpredictable directions (depending on how you toss or roll it). In terms of the Huck’s durability, the company guarantees its indestructability and will give you a replacement or refund if your dog damages it. This is because West Paw Design is apparently very confident about the Huck’s Zogoflex® composition:

Zogoflex is amazingly tough material that is buoyant, pliable, and designed to be recyclable, to create virtually no waste during our manufacturing process. Non-toxic and FDA compliant, our Zogoflex® material is made in the USA to create dog toys that are both fun and durable, such as Hurley®, Huck, Zisc®, Tux®,and our newest toy Būmi® – all are guaranteed against dog damage – yep, it’s that tough!

You’ll be happy to know that Zogoflex® does not contain, nor does any of its components contain any known sources of lead, cadmium, mercury, latex, natural rubber, phthalates, hormones, Bisphenol A, or asbestos. Need to know more about the molecular make up and scientific composition? Simply contact one of our knowledgeable customer service crew! (West Paw Design, 2011, Online)

As for its play value, Maple is very satisfied with the Huck. However, I think having a large open space with hard floors on which to toss the Huck would stretch the benefits and maximize the potential of this toy. At the moment, Maple is only able to chase the Huck along the corridor in our apartment. MM and I are on the lookout for an enclosed outdoor area, such as an unoccupied basketball or tennis court, that we can visit sparingly so Maple has more room to play with the Huck.

One downfall about the Huck, in my opinion, is that it is quite a hard toy. If it bounces and lands on Fido, you may have one sore little dog. You have to be careful when tossing it so as to avoid injuries, but perhaps this only applies to smaller dog breeds. Another critique I have is that the Huck is available in two sizes (diameters: small – 2.6″ and large – 3.25″), with the small size being a tad too large still for Maple. Sometimes Maple has trouble clamping the Huck between her jaws when she wants to transport it from one spot to another, and she would give us that look of frustration.

All in all, Maple seems really fond of the Huck and she will wag her tail in happy anticipation whenever we take it out for her to play. Maple just loves bouncing to the beat.


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