TL;DR: Wooden jigsaw puzzles are awesome. The heft. The clunk. The everything… lovin’ 'em!
The rest of the story:
As some of y’all know, I picked up Rio on the side of the highway about a month ago. Most of our days have now have settled into a rhythm of having coffee on the porch in the morning, talking about what puzzles need to be made for the day, and the plan for him to behave while I try to afford to buy him dog food. Our conversation the other day went something like this:
Me: So, Rio… this is what we need to do today < blah blah blah >
Rio: I want to be a puzzle. Why don’t you make a puzzle of me? You make puzzles of all of these beautiful things - but not me.
Me: Rio, why would anybody buy a puzzle of you? You’re not their dog. You’re my dog.
Rio: I want to be a puzzle. Everybody loves me, so I should be a puzzle.
Backtracking here… I made Rio a collar not long after I got him and posted it here. I read him the comments that y’all posted about him, and his head swole so much that his collar barely fit him when we were done. And then @bailey (I suppose), decided to use his story on Facebook and Instagram. I told him about that and he hasn’t been the same since. He thinks he is a celebrity. He even runs around town when we’re out, barking “no pictures, please!”
(Really, I did have to adjust his collar… he’s doubled in size the past month)
So, anyway — we sit down at the computer to draw him up a puzzle. We settle on a picture and I lay out a really simple and quick grid puzzle.
“Grrrrrrreeerrrr” (he has this really funny way of mumbling under his breath)
Rio: Why is it so… basic?
Me: It’s a puzzle… of you. What more do you want?
Rio: What about those special shapes that you put in the other ones? I want those.
Rio: I like squirrels.
Me: Ok. You like sq…
Rio: < Interrupts > I like squirrels. And jumping.
Rio: And bones!
Rio: And love. Add a heart!
Rio: I love chasing the girl dogs at the dog park.
I draw up a squirrel.
And a bone. And Rio jumping… And then a heart with his profile drawn into it; glue it up and we are ready to cut Rio’s very own puzzle. I stick a piece of the really good, thick chipboard in that we use on the puzzles.
“Grrrrrrreeerrrr” (yes, I hear this all day long)
Rio: Why are you using chipboard? It’s really nice and all… buttttt this is a special puzzle. It’s me.
Me: What would…
Rio: Wood. I want wood. It should be a wooden puzzle. I like to chew wood.
Hours later… after having to drive around to find the perfect wood (he settled on 1/4” thick Baltic Birch). Having to saw it down. Having to print and re-glue… we cut out our very first wood puzzle.
Rio: It’s beautiful.
Me: It’s really nice… I hope you’re happy.
Rio: Oh, I love it. You should sell these.
Me: Nobody wants to buy a puzzle of you, Rio. Even a wood puzzle.
Rio: But of other dogs. Everybody loves their dogs. The other dogs at the dog park even say that their mom owners tell them that sometimes they are their very favorite kids - more favorite than their 2-legged kids.
Me: Rio! You can’t say that!
Rio: I’m a celebrity. I can say it. How much should we sell them for? I get half since it was my idea.
Me: They’d probably need to be about $50 for this size. Kind of expensive, but they are really nice…
Rio: 50 isn’t much of anything. I can bark 50 times… watch this!
Rio: We could give a discount though. Right? How much is my dog food?
Rio: We could give a discount code to make them the same as a bag of dog food!
Me: And what should the discount code be.
Rio: iloverio obviously… everyone loves Rio.
Yes - I love wooden jigsaw puzzles… the chipboard is great - and super awesome compared to what you can buy at most stores. But - the wood. The tactile feel of it is just incredible! I wish that I could make just wood puzzles all day long!