This Ain’t No Stinky Sock

May 15, 2011 § 41 Comments

Several months ago I was browsing an old issue of a dog magazine at the library and came across a short snippet on how to make a simple homemade toy for your four-legged friend. The thought of the homemade toy has been nagging at the back of my head since that day I left the library. Finally, this weekend, I decided to give it a try.

All you need is:

  • an old sock –> this one was generously donated by MM (please bear with the pilling, discoloration, and stains… as you can see, this poor sock has been through a lot) 
  • an empty plastic water bottle –> in this case, I substituted it with an empty multi-vitamin bottle that I resurrected from the recycling bin
  • some dried beans –> I improvised with barley, as it was all we had in our pantry

Pour the beans into the bottle, screw on the cap, and stuff into the sock. Tie a knot and…

Ta-da! An instant toy!

Hope you like your little pressie, Miss Maple!

Maple’s first reaction to the rattling of beans is one of startled curiosity.

It sounds like there’s a mini rattlesnake hiding inside the sock. [Note: Varying the quantity, type, and size of dried beans will change the weight and acoustics of this nifty toy. Give it a try with different combinations!]

Maple takes a chance and steadies herself for the pounce.

After realizing that this rattling sock will not bite back, Maple lets down her guard and befriends her new toy.

No more than twenty minutes later, Maple happily (and without guilt) reveals the hole she has punctured into the slobber-ladened sock.

And, here, Maple bravely licks what seems to be an indeterminate crusty corner of MM’s old sock. 

It looks like Mr Rattling Sock has easily become Maple’s favourite toy now. It won’t be an easy task snatching it away from her paws—you’ll need to organize an Ocean’s Eleven equivalent of a heist to accomplish this nearly impossible mission! 

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§ 41 Responses to This Ain’t No Stinky Sock

  • Jackie Paulson Author says:

    Beyond adorable… from start to finish.

  • Anna says:

    too cute, I like making toys for ours too. I can see Wyatt liking this one as it’s resembles a bumper AND makes noise. Maybe we will give it a shot. Luna prefers things she can love bite and carry around with her. If I can ever find some wool I plan to make some felted balls for them too.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Homemade toys are always fun. The best part of it is that our furry friends don’t really mind the aesthetics (or a lack thereof) of the end product! I’d be interested to see what you come up with for the felted balls—I’m not sure I know what exactly they are, but I’d love to find out! Hope to see a future post about it on your blog 😉

  • Kame says:

    What a creative idea 😉
    Maple seemed to enjoy her special toy.That last picture is sooooo adorable.

  • lepawsvoyage says:

    Maple really beaming with happiness all over her face. The slight fluffy fur around her muzzle which overlapes her eye create the best smiling look of a doggie. Every photos of Maple is amazing, especially the last pic which is so sweetttt…….

  • TOto's mommy says:

    This is so creative! At least if they damage the toys the heart doesn’t pain as much. DOg toys are so expensive!!!

    But I was thinking if you are using MM’s sock will it encourage Maple to ‘steal’ his sock and chew on them??? In no time, MM will have to look around the house for hidden socks!

    Haha ~

    • Actually, that was one of my concerns about introducing a sock toy to Maple…that she would then take any sock around the house and chew at it. But, surprisingly, she seems to know not to touch any of our other socks! Of course, when MM and I are out of the house, it may be a different matter altogether 😉

  • didiwright says:

    Well done for making Maple a toy, it looks like you’ve done a good job and she appreciates your efforts. George loves socks, there’s always a tug toy made of old socks in his toy box. Much cheaper than buying toys, and they don’t know the difference anyway, do they?
    That last photo of Maple sleeping her head on her sock toy is so cute! x

    • You’re absolutely right! Our furry friends just want to have their fun and they won’t mind it even if they’re given a homemade toy to play with. George seems like a sock-loving kind of dogster to me, and I can imagine the thrill he has playing with his tug toy made from old socks (that’s a great idea, by the way!). And…there may be some eco-friendly merits to making our own toys from stuff around the house—that’s always a plus!

  • That’s one huge grin on Maple’s face!

    Homemade toys (like homemade treats) are such a good idea. Not only do you save money, you’re helping the environment, too, by recycling old socks and bottles!

    • Yup, eco is the way to go! And I don’t think our paw pals mind it to much that they are at the receiving end of hand-me-downs. The more torn and tattered the toy, the greater the fun for these four-leggers 😀

  • Hi! Thanks for stopping by our bloggie! We’ll definitely be back, as Mom is a softie for little poodles. (My little big sister TaiChi was a miniature poodle who crossed the bridge a little over a year ago at the age of 20, and she was Mom’s baby! When Mom met TaiChi she was already 12 years old – she was Dad’s dog before Mom met Dad – and Mom says she married Dad for TaiChi! *grin* Even though we are medium-large doggies, Mom has great love for all little poodles.) We agree with Mom – Maple, you are a CUTIE!!! We can’t wait to read more of your adventures!

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

    • Hi Fiona and Abby! Thanks for checking out Maple’s little humble blog 😀 We’re sorry to hear about the passing of your big sis, TaiChi. I bet she was a beautiful grand dame and a clever cupid to have brought your Mom and Dad together in matrimony 😉 How sweet of you both to share with us this story. We’re also looking forward to following your adventures, which include bitey-faces, kissey faces, zoomies, and all!

  • Anny says:

    Wonderful idea for a toy 🙂 thanks for sharing. The picture of Maple sleeping with her toy is priceless.

  • Muffin_mint says:

    the idea of making toys for our four-legged kids is a wonderful.. we’ve spent a lot on Muffin’s toys, but yet he just can’t seems to have enough! When we were in London, we bought him 3 toys that came up to 20 pounds! If Muffin sees how happy Maple is with her new (but made of old stuff) toy, he will laugh at our silliness! =)

    • Nope, I can assure you that Maple is hiding her envy over Muffin’s new toys! While I enjoy making toys for Maple from finds around the house, I quite like shopping for unique toys that are hard to come by in Singapore. If I were travelling abroad, I would probably sneak a couple of toys into my suitcase as well! One toy I really really really want to get is a lightweight frisbee for Maple—as you can see, there are certain toys you just can’t make yourself 😉

  • I love this idea! Gus loves anything that makes noise, so beans in a bottle would be right up his alley. We are always look for eco-friendly ways to raise Gus and this is one we will have to try.

    P.S. Another one Gus loves is a plastic bottle (I know, not so eco-friendly) stuffed inside fabric (a sock would work). He loves the crinkly sound it makes. 😀

    • A plastic bottle would work wonderfully and the instructions do call for one, but we couldn’t find one in the house small enough to fit inside MM’s ankle high sock (LOL). We’ll give that a try in the next round. Hope eco-warrior Gus will enjoy the beans-in-the-bottle toy as much as Maple!

  • raisingdaisy says:

    AWWW what sweet pictures! What a charmer Miss Maple is! She’s so happy with her new sock buddy! 🙂

  • Kas says:

    Great, affordable idea .. Although I wonder how long it would last Diesel and Kylie 😛

    • Haha..yes, indeed, to ensure the survival of Mr Rattling Sock it would be advisable to keep him a safe distance away from dogsters who are enthusiastic chewers. Maple has already torn four holes into the sock and has ripped apart some of the seams…and this is only Day 3!

  • Kristine says:

    Nothing like a great home-made toy! I’ve often given Shiva a bottle to toss around the room but I never thought of shoving a sock around it. Genius! Unfortunately, toys never last very long in our house with destructo-dog around, but at least this one won’t cost too much. That’s a bonus for the both of us.

    Miss Maple is too cute. 🙂

    • LOL, destructo-dog Shiva sure knows how to have fun with her toys! And it’s so true…once the homemade toy has ended its life expectancy, it’s just a matter of recycling the materials and we won’t even feel the pinch in our coin pocket 😀

  • Elizabeth says:

    LUUUV the photos!

    I gave JF and Dewi an empty coffee creamer bottle this morning; they thought it was grand. It’s chewed to bits. 🙂 At least it was free.

    • I bet JF and Dewi had the best time destroying the coffee creamer bottle into smithereens! Oh, how Maple wishes she has the same ability to cause such carnage to inanimate objects… but her itty bitty teeth are only good for nipping at best! And, you’re right, it’s totally free to turn these everyday household items into toys for our happy pups 😀

  • xmasyve says:

    We have the kibble in the plastic bottle (makes the rattling sound and exercises their mind to get the kibble out) for when we’re out. Socks and keys can make excellent toys but given that we don’t want Panda and Polar to chew on our socks/shoes/keys we refrain from using socks as toys 😦 especially when they already hide our socks lol.

    • Oh wow, Panda and Polar are already hiding your socks from you guys? LOL…that’s so cheeky of them! Kibbles in a plastic bottle—I can imagine how that would occupy your two pups for the day. We stuff treats in a small Kong for Maple, but she eventually figures it out 😀

  • blisschic says:

    Maple looks so utterly cute, like a mini teddy bear! Anyway, great ideas for a home-made toy. I’ve 2 rascals at home that love to chew even though they are no longer puppies. This will definitely come in handy!

    By the way, i saw your comment on notabilia’s blog and just wanted to say that u might like to take up sketching in nafa! just started my basic class 1 wk ago and it’s been fun! 🙂

    • Hello blisschic! Oh, I love the title of your blog and the meaning behind it. Your youthful optimism is infectious—not that I’m all that much older 😉 Your two four-leggers, Archie and Frosty, are cuuuuute. I’ll be happily following your blog to see more of Archie and Frosty, in addition to seeing how “life is beautiful” from your perspective!

      P.S. Hey, yah, I know the course you’re referring to at NAFA. I’ve been meaning to sign up for the longest time. Hope you’re having loads of fun there!

  • It is a really inventive way to make a low-cost toy for your dog but I won’t make one for Chester and Gretel because they eat enough socks as it is. I don’t want to encourage them to nibble on our socks 🙂

    Thanks for subscribing to our Blog! We have you on our follow list.

    • Oh definitely, it can be a real challenge stopping a dog from chewing up any old sock when you’ve already got him/her started on one! Fortunately, with Miss Maple, she seems to just stick with this sock toy. I’m not sure, but I think she kind of likes its, um, unique ‘fragrance’… 😐

      We enjoy following Chester and Gretel—they seem to know exactly how life should be lived!

  • Abby says:

    Aw, she looks so happy! :]

  • furfilled says:

    Great idea! I’ll have to try that with Miss Toki. I have a feeling that she’ll rip it up pretty quickly (she’s not as ladylike as Maple).

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