Dumpster Diving for Something to Chew On

Our dogs are chewers. When they were puppies, they ate shoes, pillows, and kitchen cabinets. Then in early 2008, we went on a trip to California, and left them with a housesitter who came home to this:   






They had not only torn off the ends of the love seat, they had ripped open the cushions and shredded the stuffing inside. They also ate each of the corners off of the throw pillows. They also tore into the matching couch as well. Did I mention that the couch and love seat set were only a few weeks old?

Apparently the dogs were a bit angry.

Ever since then, we have tried to head off the dogs’ inner chewing desires by providing them with a plentiful supply of dog toys to chew through. However, since they can tear apart a chew toy in less than a minute, it’s hard for the supply to keep up with the demand. I used to scour clearance racks in pet stores and websites for cheap toy deals, until I discovered the ultimate dog toy supply store:

Goodwill Outlet.

Goodwill has an outlet? Why yes. Yes it does.

Goodwill Outlet is the purgatory of donated goods. The merchandise has been featured in a regular Goodwill store, but hasn’t been purchased, so it is then taken to the Goodwill Outlet, where the wares are offered up by the pound, in hopes of selling to the best of the dumpster divers. In fact, the more you buy, the cheaper the price per pound.

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The merchandise is no longer presented in size and color-coordinated displays, but tossed into bins that are wheeled into lines, where hoarders and bargain hunters alike dig through the piles of random merchandise. Shopping at Goodwill Outlet is WORK.

At the same time, we have occasionally found some very good treasures. A nearly-new Kate Spade purse, a Lilly Pulitzer blouse, a lacrosse stick with the tags still on it. The thing that Goodwill Outlet is best for is selling lots of things that no one wants to buy at Goodwill, such as: crutches, shoes, golf clubs, exercise equipment, As-Seen-On-TV cast-offs,and stuffed animals.

Oh yes, they sell stuffed animals BY THE POUND.

Of course stuffed animals don’t weigh much, so we can get a shopping cart full of them for less than $30. That will last us 6 months, and is much cheaper than buying new furniture.

So, Saturday, Ken and I braved the land of the lost and the home of the hoarders as we loaded up on dog toys to last the next few months. Our stuffed animals have made their way home from the store, have been washed and dried, and have now arrived in the place of fulfilling their final stuffed animal destiny: keeping our furniture safe from the destructive jowls of our gruesome twosome.


9 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving for Something to Chew On

    • Oh, come on! You know you want to go with me some time! Just remember to bring gloves. A mask sometimes helps as well. And lots of people bring preschoolers with them, just to add to the adventure. After all a 3 year old is a pretty creative creature!

    • I think they were too busy grabbing at the piles. This is why God made cameras that can be turned to no-flash. The only one who noticed that I was taking pictures was Ken.

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