Tuesday, November 29, 2011

$16.47 [Chewed]

A few months ago, I learned about the book Chewed, which features 140 color photographs by Arne Svenson and "looks at the comically twisted results of our pets' desire to tear, shred, dismember, eviscerate -- to transform -- their favorite toys."  Excerpts from the book were shared to my delight on The Huffington Post.  See them here.

Like the dogs behind the photographed toys, Betelgeuse -- full of either love or hatred for them (we can't tell, maybe it's both) -- methodically destroys her plush toys.  She chews off any tags, removes the eyes and ears, dismembers the limbs, and, ideally, pulls out and eats the stuffing once the destruction is complete.  (I've already discussed her cloud-like all-stuffing BM before here.)  The end result is magnificent.

So, inspired by Chewed, I embarked on my own photography project while cleaning out the pups' toy box.  Unlike Chewed, however, I did not write stories from the perspectives of the toys -- you'll just have to buy the book for that.

It can be hard to appreciate how loved this rabbit has been without viewing the before photo. Despite Betelgeuse's infatuation with him over the last few years, he still squeaks and his stuffing is intact. What is left of his fur is super frizzy, but he somehow managed to keep his ears.

Mr. Fox.  A Skinneeez dog toy, so perfectly love-busted.  His ears are gone, his eyes are loose, and he never had front legs.  No stuffing to pull out, but that doesn't stop Betel from dragging him all around the apartment by the squeaker in his head and tail.

This dog head used to both squeak and be attached to a baby blue blanket.  One of her first toys, Betelgeuse would drag the blanket around the apartment by this head.  Betel doesn't even play with him anymore but I can't bear to get rid of him.  Or his detached ear.  He does need a bath, though.

Oh, this sheep.  He doesn't mind.   He doesn't mind that one ear is unraveled and one ear is missing.  He doesn't mind that his leg is gone or how some stuffing has been violently pulled out through the hole that once was his leg.  He doesn't mind that he doesn't squeak anymore.  He's just fine with it.

[By the way, this sheep is one of Betelgeuse's many three-legged toys -- she never chews off more than one leg on a toy, and thus far, it's always been a back left leg.  We consider this to be Betel's homage to our former cat, Kitty, who was missing her back left leg and who passed away last June.]

Remember this little lizard, beloved by all dogs (previous post here)?  Where is he now?  Fewer toes, fewer spikes in his crest, hole in his chest, no stuffing, no squeaker.  He still has eyes only because they were sewn on.  Perhaps "Invincibles" was not an accurate name, but he was up against five dogs after all -- even Icky got in on the chew-and-toss-the-lizard action.  Poor lizard.

Ahh, this chipmunk.  He looks more like a groundhog now.  He has been around since Betel came into my life, and again, the before photo gives you a real sense of the intensity of Betel's love for the toy.  He's almost bald, he's missing his little chipmunk teeth, along with his tail, ears, and back leg.  And he's filthy.  He's absolutely perfect.  Also, another fitting tribute to Kitty -- he kind of resembles post-surgery Kitty, actually, only she got to keep her tail.

[This is the second AKC Classic Plush pictured, and they both have managed to make it 2+ years with their stuffing and their squeakers intact.  Most plush toys cannot make it 2 weeks.  Note this for your doggie stocking stuffers, readers.]

This red plush bone is another toy from when Betel was an itty bitty puppy.  The ropes coming out of the bone used to be white, braided, and knotted at the end.  Now it looks like some washed up sea creature.  It's called love.

This sheep did not last for even a day.  Betel went straight for the heart, pulled out the stuffing and the squeaker.  She didn't even bother chewing off the tag or the legs or the ears.  She hasn't played with him since.  Once the squeaker is gone, for her, it's like why even bother.  I should get rid of him, but I just can't since he was eco-friendly or something, which means expensive.

* * *

Chewed is currently available on Amazon.com for $16.47 -- buy it for the animal enthusiast in your life (i.e., me) here.

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