I’d like to have a word with the guy who invented these little, tiny foam balls…

You’ve probably never seen them before, given that they’re typically found inside plush toys and stuffed animals and whatnot – there’s really no discernable reason why you ever would.  The people who make these things do so with the simple intent of making our teddy bears cuddlier and our Pillow Pets comfier – I’m sure if they had any idea of the colossal mess that these seemingly harmless fillers can impose on an unsuspecting home should the furry walls containing them somehow become compromised, they’d at least put some sort of warning label on the toy’s tag or something … wouldn’t they?

Wouldn’t they?!

Of course, it’s probably not really fair to hold the manufacturers responsible for the fact that our puppy is still a vicious, destructive killer when it comes to stuffed animals.  As far as I’ve been lead to understand, traditionally most children don’t play with their stuffed toys by trying to tear out their throats and violently rip out their insides within minutes of first receiving them.  And the thing is, we’ve known this for a while now, so frankly, I’m not even sure what we were thinking!

“It’ll just be five minutes of fun!” we said.

“We’ll simply clean up all of the discarded fluff when she’s done – no big deal!!” we said.

“And besides, it’s Christmas!!!” we insisted to ourselves as we picked out the oversized tropical bird that was to be the centerpiece of our puppy’s very first Christmas ever.  We dubbed him Toucan Stan, just for the sake of narrowly avoiding trademark litigation, and for the first few minutes of his puppy playtime debut, our little Cleo certainly looked like she was having a fun time stripping the lifeblood from this harmless feathered friend like he looked at her favorite bone the wrong way … and then we saw them. Teensy, tiny specs as white as snow, and having just returned from vacation in Northern Michigan seemingly as abundant as well!

Seriously, within a matter of minutes our floors looked like a scene out of a winter wonderland, as if the entire house had somehow found itself inside a gigantic snow globe.  It may even sound kinda neat to you as I’m describing it, especially considering the distinct fact that Florida really doesn’t see a whole lot of snow these days, but make no mistake about it – “neat” was the exact opposite of what this place looked like after our determined little destroyer of cleanliness got done emptying out the innards of Toucan Stan across five separate rooms…

So many little white dots anywhere and everywhere – stuck to the bottoms of our feet, nestled into the coziest areas of our bed, and at one point I even found myself washing these little foam specs out of my hair! We’d unleashed a monster by allowing our puppy to tear open this stuffed bird at the throat and rip out its innards, and long after she’d grown bored by its empty carcass and moved on to digging up more yummy rocks out in the backyard, my wife and I would still be racking our brains on how to clean up this new snow-scape cascading across our bedroom without simply up and moving to a new house altogether and just never looking back!

Although eventually we were finally able to vacuum up the majority of these microscopic culprits in a good, solid evening of vacuuming delight, still to this day I continue to find them stuck to my feet or nestled deep within furniture crevices that are apparently too deep even for our mighty vacuum cleaner to penetrate, and so it’s in this spirit that I offer my fair advice to all of you out there who might still haphazardly yourselves think that your precious puppies would love nothing more than to play with a ginormous stuffed toy big enough to tower over them like King Kong faced the city of New York in his 1933 cinematic debut of the same name, heed my warning here today because really, there’s pretty much no worse feeling in the world than finding these little, tiny foam balls on the soles of your feet and knowing that aside from learning to pee outside with the dog, there’s really not a damn thing that you can possibly do about it…