I made my first visit to Nintendo of America's offices in Redmond roughly eight years ago this month. It was to co-author the strategy guide for Banjo-Tooie, one of my all-time favorite games. While I was there, I picked up a couple of tennis-ball sized Pokemon stuffed animals from the Nintendo company store.
I self-consciously told the cashier who was ringing me up that my dogs were going to love them; I had to make sure she knew that these little things weren't for me personally. Her response was one of, dare I say, shock and awe. Actually she seemed personally offended and uttered the words I used for the title of this post.
Nevertheless, chew toys are indeed what they become and because Balthazar's uniquely compact shape, the dogs have not only enjoyed playing fetch with them, but they haven't been able to tear them limb from limb. They're still in great shape, despite being their favorite toys. Every other stuffed animal we give them has made frequent trips to Kristin's operating room, where Kristin has performed miraculous surgery to fix those poor creatures suffering from double-amputations, sucking flesh wounds, and significant hemorrhaging of stuffing.
Despite all the disfigured stuffed animals in our house (my favorite is the reindeer with no eys, no legs, and only one arm, and half a rack of antlers) I can say that none of these animals has ever caused me fright. Until last night.
I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and, rather than risk waking Kristin with the light in our bedroom bath, I walked down the hall to use the other one. And thats when I saw, directly beneath my falling foot, what I thought was a giant pile of poo. Yet, I was committed to taking that footstep. I was in a groggy, half-asleep, almost zombie-like state and, well, the foot was coming down. And I was horrified. It was 2am and I was about to have a foot covered in dook.
Nope, it was just Balthazar. He was on his side and the shadows made him look a little darker and a little more spiraled than he really is.
But if it's any consolation, I did almost roll my ankle on him.