Dog Toy: Night TIme Flat Cuddly Polar Bear

by Judy Tucker

Night Time Flat Cuddly Polar Bear Dog Toy

Five years ago, when Taffy was an 8 week old puppy, I put a flat Polar Bear cuddle toy in her crate at night so she would have something to lie on that would feel soft and snuggly.   I had a back up Pink Pig but she never needed the second toy.

So when my niece and her family adopted a Golden Doodle puppy a year ago, I sent her the Pink Pig. 
Apparently Zoe has loved it to bits and they were hoping for a replacement. 

Sadly, the dog toy world had moved on.  Now the flat cuddle toys have multiple squeakers sewed into squares in their tummies.  Not quiet for sleeping and lots of dogs will rip apart a toy containing a squeaker.  The small round plastic squeakers are a choking hazard so a toy with 12 of them is potentially bad news and big vet bill.

I have access to a couple independent pet stores which stock unique toys.  Neither had any toy remotely like Pink Pig or the original Polar Bear.  Nor have I seen anything on-line for years.

I picked up a couple toys today but they weren't really what I wanted.  Then driving home from the pet store I realized I'd had the solution at home all along.  I could make just what I wanted with some berber fleece I had purchased to make dog mats (and haven't yet!) and left over polyester batting.  The toy would be soft, flat, cuddly, squeaker-free and (hopefully) not interesting enough to rip apart.  And replaceable!

I drew out a half a bear on paper from a grocery bag which I had folded in half.  I added a 1/4 inch seam line.   I cut out 2 bears from the berber fleece and one from a scrap of polyester quilt batting.

Then I embroidered eyes and nose on one of the cut berber fleece pieces.

I layered the fleece right sides together and added the batting on top of the wrong side of the top bear piece.  Then I sewed all 3 pieces together with an overlocking stitch, leaving a few inches open on one side of the abdomen so I could turn it to the right side when I was done.  The bottom layer slipped a bit so I had go back and re-sew couple places where the stitching hadn't caught all 3 layers.  I think I could avoid that then next time by making the over-lock stitch a bit wider.   I could have used the serger to assemble this toy but the sewing machine was set up and ready to sew and the serger wasn't!

I used quilting thread and decorative stitches to add a mouth, ear details and claws.  Then I sewed lines across the abdomen in several places to discourage the dog from shredding the bear and will keep the layers together. 

From start to finish this project took me about an hour and a quarter. 

Taffy gave it her stamp of approval.  I hope Zoe likes it too!