I don't remember the first time we gave him an empty water bottle or pop bottle as a toy.
I do remember that in the beginning, he savored the plastic containers far beyond just removing its cap.
Sensi would tear around the room with his bottle, crunching his teeth into it and making all sorts of racket.
He'd chew off the caps, the plastic ring beneath it, take off its plastic wrap-around label and continue ripping through the bottle until it was thoroughly mangled.
Over time, he lost interest in chewing up the bottle. Then I noticed he was leaving the plastic labels on.
Perhaps it was because - since Brent and I were confident he wasn't eating the plastic pieces - we overloaded him with plastic bottles.
The amount of water bottles I go through is horrendous, and since we have no avenue for recycling where we live, I've always thought that we were doing a good thing by at least recycling them as dog toys before they hit the landfill.
Nowadays, Sensi still looks forward to his empty bottles. He keeps a close eye on me as I take the last swig from a bottle, recognizing the sound a near-empty bottle makes.
I can feel him hoping that instead of going to the fridge and refilling the bottle, I toss it his way instead.
After six years of chomping on water bottles, though, Sensi is fixated on doing only one thing: taking off the cap and plastic ring.
He picks up the bottle by its cap and runs around playfully, his tail wagging in excitement.
Then he promptly lays down, holding the body of the bottle between his paws.
In one swift chomp with his back teeth, he pops the cap off and spits it out beside the bottle. Then he pulls the ring off with his front teeth, and flattens the bottle's neck.
Just like that, he's done with the “toy” and leaves it lying on the ground, waiting for someone to pick it up and throw it away.
I don't know why he has this fixation with the bottle's cap. I've often wondered if it has something to do with him watching us operate bottles, taking the caps on and off to drink from them.
Does he think he should do the same?
I'm not sure, but one thing is for sure: if there was a business that needed thousands of bottle caps removed, Sensi would be glad to sit on a production line.
I imagine he'd be faster at it than a robotic machine.
If anyone knows of such a business, please give me a head's up.
We'd be glad to put our dog to work!