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TideWriters Tales
The Wiggly Giggly® Baby
By Joy B. Burch

     We had a new baby at my house.  However, the “caretakers” finally decided that the “baby” no longer needed their care.  So, now the Wiggly Giggly baby is lying on the floor, in a corner, under a piece of furniture.  Don’t feel sorry for it, now it is fulfilling its true intended purpose.  Let me explain.

     It all started awhile ago when I was with a friend, shopping at one of those big pet department stores.  We passed a display of several odd looking greenish balls with evenly spaced dents in it.  Each depression had a sort of vent in it.  The balls came in two sizes, a little bigger than a soft ball and a bit smaller than a soccer ball.  My friend said she had gotten one for her dogs and they loved it.  I decided my dogs might like it and grabbed one of the smaller ones.

     When I got home I looked at the ball.  On the package, it described the special features of the Wiggly Giggly Ball®.  Apparently it has a squeaker that is activated by squeezing it and a noisemaker (like a groan stick) that is set off by dropping and rolling.  I could hardly wait to turn it over to my two dogs, a Great Dane and a Doberman.  “I’ve got a surprise for you,” I coo-ed.  Both of the dogs looked up with interest from their beds in front of the fireplace.  The Great Dane, Zach, got up and came over to see.  I dropped the ball onto the floor, “Oo-ah, wa-wa,” sounded the Wiggly Giggly Ball®.  Zach’s eyes sparkled.  He picked up the ball, his long lips dropped over the ball in his mouth so that it became almost invisible, “Aaww,” the ball said.  Zach’s eyes got bigger.  He closed his mouth slightly, “Squeezy, weezy,” commented the ball.  Zach’s eyes opened even bigger and he dropped the ball.  “Ooooh,” the toy said.  That was all Naja, the Doberman needed.  She had been hovering, taking this all in.  She snatched up the ball and ran across the room closing her jaws repeatedly on the new toy.  “Weezy, weezy, weezy,” exclaimed the talkative toy.  Zach was alarmed!  He went after Naja and got the ball.  “Weeze?”  The ball asked desperately.  Zach took the new toy back to the fireside bed and gently placed it down and licked it clean, tucked it between his huge paws and guarded it by resting his chin over it.  His big brown eyes looked around the room making sure all was well, and then he slowly closed his eyes, it was safe.  I’d like to mention here that during this care taking the ball didn’t make a sound.  Zach is absolutely the kindest creature ever, canine or otherwise. I refer to him as a “pure soul.”  Naja was curious, but soon seemed to accept the fact that it was not just a run-of-the-mill squeaky toy…it was a special being that need their care!

     That night the ball slept between them on their bed, silent, loved and protected.  The next morning, I turned on the TV.  Zach got the ball, gave it a morning wash and gently picked it up and tried to put it in the recliner.  As he raised it over the arm, it was knocked out of his mouth and it fell to the floor.  “Ah, weeze, oo-oo,” said the ball.  Zach quickly picked it up again; comforted it with a few loving licks and carefully placed it in the chair.  He nestled it next to a throw pillow.  Then (as Dave Barry would say, “I’m not making this up.”) he turned the chair, it swivels, so that it faced the TV.  Wiggly Giggly Baby and I watched the Today Show!  Several times during the day, Zach checked on the ball and tucked it closer to the pillow.  What a good life this Wiggly Giggly Ball® is having!

     That evening, thinking I could start a dog game, I grabbed the ball and bounced it on the floor, “Wump, oo-ah, weeze.”  Immediately I got two canine looks that seemed to say, “You made it cry, how could you!”  Carefully the Wiggly Giggly Ball® Baby was rescued from my evil grasp and gently placed under a table so it would be safe from my thoughtlessness.  All was well until the next morning.  Apparently even Wiggly Giggly Ball® Babies need a change of scene.  It had been placed on a scatter rug in a spot of sunshine.  Not seeing it, I hit it with my foot as I walked by.  “Wunk, eeeeeee,” it called out as it spun out of sight.  Again it was rescued from my clumsiness and placed under a piece of furniture for safety.

     That evening it was gathered up and allowed to watch TV again.  The Doberman positioned herself front of the chair to protect it from harm.

     Every day, the Wiggly Giggly Ball® Baby was moved from place to place for its comfort and safety.  Each of the dogs took turns overseeing their baby, never allowing it to groan or squeak.
The several days later I noticed that the parenting pageant was over.  I found the Wiggly Giggly Ball® in an out of the way place in one of the other rooms, unable to watch TV or lean up against a soft pillow.  No watchful dog patrolled nearby.  I picked it up and squeezed and threw it onto the floor towards the dogs.  “Wonk, onk, ooo-aaah, weeze, weeze,” it sounded.  Both dogs rushed over to battle over possession.  They went around and around in circles, playing “doggy keep-away.”  “Weeze, wa – weeze, wa,” yelled the Wiggly Giggly Ball®, but to no avail.  The two dogs finished their game, dropped the Wiggly Giggly Ball® and went back to lie on their beds in front of the fire.  Life is back to normal.

Note:  The Wiggly Giggly Ball® is a real pet toy.

© 2002 All Rights Reserved.  Joy B. Burch

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