It's not something I worry about worry about, but I do wonder whether Sheba has enough to do during the day. I mean, not that she acts bored, or gets into the trash or tears up the furniture or whatever it is that dogs are supposed to do when they're bored. I just wonder if she's gotten, y'know, dumb, 'cause we never ask her to roll objects around with her nose until food falls out, jump over/through/around a series of small obstacles, or solve crimes with the neighborhood children. It's possible that I'm projecting: assuming she must be bored because I would be bored if I had her life. Maybe I'm projecting even more than that, and I'm just bored with my life and this has nothing to do with Sheba at all. I don't know.
In any case, we tried, this week, to give her something a little more challenging than usual. I cut a hole in a milk jug, and put tennis balls inside. Why tennis balls? They're one of the few things she pays attention to. If one rolls under an object and she can't reach it, she'll flop down on the floor and stare at it pointedly until someone retrieves it for her. If it's particularly urgent, she'll even whine a little, though that's rare.
And it sort of worked, in that she was interested in the milk jug, but she's not much of a creative thinker, I guess. Her first strategy was to stick her nose directly into the hole and attempt to get the balls out that way, which failed,
and then the backup plan was to stare at the husband and me in the expectation that we'd deal with the problem for her.
When we didn't take the balls out for her, she lost interest; when we put a rawhide in the milk jug, she regained interest; when she couldn't get the rawhide out either, she lost interest again. Possibly this was too complicated for a first attempt at mental enrichment crap, especially since the relevant actions (rolling the jug over, picking it up and shaking it around) aren't things she typically does with anything else.
That's pretty much the whole story, but while you're here -- I'm interested in maybe trying to do some clicker training with her, but we looked at clickers the other day at the pet store and they were sort of ridiculously priced. (Considering that its only function is to make a noise -- and not even a pleasant noise -- $6 seems unreasonable.) I know there has to be something we have around the house that could be used instead, but I'm having trouble thinking of it. (Sheba's not the only one here with the occasional failure of imagination.) Any suggestions?