Tuesday, February 3

ball-throwing systems

We have some elaborate systems set up around here. One of our systems is set up to facilitate ball-throwing. Playing ball with Lila involves a minimum of three balls. Playing ball with Lila is a lot like what I understand juggling to be, although we drew the line at involving large flaming knives after that one incident back in September.

With many dogs, I have been led to believe, ball-throwing goes more or less like this: Human throws ball. Dog chases ball. Dog returns to human with ball. Human and dog exchange love. Human throws ball. Etc. No system necessary. The natural order of things retains its integrity.

At our house, ball-throwing goes like this: Human attempts to snatch ball away from dog in order to initiate game of ball-throwing. Dog acts like human is attempting to steal dog's kidneys. Dog runs away with ball. Human sighs. Human goes into the house to find second ball. Human returns to yard. Human throws second ball. Dog chases second ball. Dog, being natural predator, easily catches up with second ball but refuses to drop first ball so cannot pick up second ball. Human sighs. Human runs across yard to retrieve second ball. Human throws second ball. Human yells "Drop it!". Dog drops first ball. Dog chases second ball. First ball becomes lodged deep in the heart of a prickly pear. Dog wanders around distant end of yard with second ball firmly between teeth. Human yells "Come!". Dog snorts in derision. Human searches for third ball. Human approaches dog. Human yells "Drop it!". Dog drops second ball. Human throws third ball. Dog chases third ball. Dog sees birds. Dog loses all interest in third ball. Dog barks at birds. Human drops to the ground in exhaustion. Birds exit yard. Dog retrieves third ball. Dog approaches human with third ball in mouth. Dog wags tail vigorously, attempting to entice human into a game of ball-throwing. Human sighs.

It's a complicated system, but it works for us. Sometimes we consider re-introducing the large flaming knives to our games of ball-throwing, but usually we're too tired to get up off the ground and go make it happen.

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