Friday, April 30, 2010

Tennis ball time

I am admittedly inconsistent about keeping my dogs fit. I haven't taken them for walks or runs down our rural road in quite a long time. I've been really sick for over a week, which means I haven't had the energy to train. But I have had enough to run them with our trusty Chuck-It tennis ball thrower. I didn't have the Chuck-it recently, and I was embarrassed at how short my throws were without it.

As we headed out to the large fenced field (we still call it the agility yard in my family) on the front of our 4 acres to give them a run this morning, I started musing about the rules of The Game. First of all, I'd better have at least 3 balls along, or it just won't work. Ty is a tennis ball hog - if possible, she gets two of them and plays keep away with them. Then Gryffin stands there and barks loudly and uselessly. She does not take pity on him. Often, as Gryff races off in pursuit of a ball, Ty pursues him while still carrying her two. Sometimes, she drops them both and wants me to chuck them. She's remarkably adept at grabbing one ball in her mouth and then capturing a second with her front paws, and then gathering it into her mouth somehow. She's often just as happy racing big circles as persuing a Chucked ball.

My goal is to get out the agility yard to start The Game with as little barking and fussing as possible. Gryffin and Java are the noisy ones, and they wind each other to ever higher levels of noise. Not something I cope with gracefully. It helps if I can get the black dogs out the door before the terriers catch on.

Gryff and Ty returning...

Bologna Tongue is what we call this look.

Ty with her pair of balls.

The terriers mostly just run around, sniffing good smells, eating grass, and peeing on stuff. Sometimes, Java will steal a ball or chase and bark, but mostly, these days, he sniffs. Joker sometimes stalks the Flat-Coats - stares and I supposed points them. He jumps at them as the sprint past after a ball. It never appears that they notice his subtle attacks. He often gets sent flying. Why does he keep doing it? It's just part of The Game.

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