Since Laev was nine or ten weeks old, she has gone to sleep with The Toy. This was a special toy, an orange fuzzy die chosen by Shakespeare from a basket after his first Rally trial. Shakespeare liked the toy well enough, but a year later Laev arrived and loved it. She never shredded it, like she abused other toys, and she always fell asleep with it in her mouth, stuffed deep in her throat so that it looked as if she were gagging on it, her muzzle propped vertically as she slept.
No other toy would do. If she didn't have that one, she would cry until given it and then promptly fall asleep. When I left town for a few days, my husband's desperate plea was that I be certain he knew exactly where The Toy was before I left.
We realized this was a liability, having only one of The Toy. She'd already deformed it from a cube into a shapeless blob which fit easily into her huge mouth. What would happen if we lost it, or if it fell apart? So I looked for months for big fuzzy dice, large enough to withstand the Laev-jaws. I found none. Then I finally found large stuffy balls of a similar size and bought three.
Laev promptly ate them.
So we were left with only The Toy, which we prayed would last. It was treasured. And Laev suddenly destroyed it. Ack!
Schutzhund tired Laev out, so last night went well enough. But we fear this night.... I gave her one last stuffy ball from the stash of inadequate substitutes; we'll see if she likes it. :-)