Throwing the ball, losing the ball

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My dog Rubee loves to play fetch while we’re on our runs. Actually, she likes to play “half fetch”. Either that, or she has an entirely different definition of what fetch means.

My definition of fetch: I throw the ball as hard as I can. You chase after the ball as fast as you can. Once you get the ball, you bring it back.

Her definition of fetch: You throw the ball as hard as you can. I chase after the ball as fast as I can. Once I get the ball, I do what I want to do, which might consist of dropping the ball in the river, behind a bush, inside a hole in the ground, or wherever I want. It’s my choice.

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I found myself getting annoyed the other day when I watched, shouting helplessly, as Rubee took the ball to the edge of an embankment, let it go, and came running back happily to me while the ball fell to its watery doom below.

I lost another ball the same way a week later, but this time she took it up a hill and put it in some far-off place.

I actually just laughed.

It’s my own fault.

She’s not trying to lose the ball. She loves the ball. But she also loves EVERYTHING else too: birds, deer, squirrels, random bits of trash, even horse poo.

It’s just a ball she must be thinking. What’s the big deal?

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I envy how carefree dogs are.

Life’s not about getting the ball, it’s about trying to find it.

(Oh, and once I stopped looking for the ball we lost on the hill, I randomly found it a week later. Go figure.)

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2 responses

  1. Have you tried bringing some treats with you and rewarding her for successfully bringing the ball back to you? I was doing that on hikes with Reese where she could be off-leash, and using a distinctive whistle to get her to return to me, worked pretty well.

    1. Yeah, I’ve tried that. She’ll return to me fine, and she never strays too far, it’s just that she’ll tend to wander around a bit and drops the ball randomly even if she comes back.

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