Patti Soldavini

The Ball Buster

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/30/2011 at 6:49 pm

"So you want the BALL, do ya'?

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were filled with fun, food, family and friends for Olive and me. If Olive were writing today’s post, she would have listed food first. We started out each cold morning with a trip to the dog park. At 8am on Christmas morning, under a heavy, violet-tinted cloud cover, we found we had the entire park to ourselves. Olive would have been happier if her dog friends were there, but she is quite content to just run around, enjoying her freedom, stopping every five seconds to sniff something on the ground, brushing her wet brown nose up against some foul item of interest. Better to keep moving instead of standing still up here and being the only object to buffet 25 mph winds. I try to interest Olive in a game of fetch which is usually a waste of time. Like most weimaraners, Olive thinks “fetch” is a moronic way to spend her time. She might pick the ball up as if to announce “OF COURSE, I CAN GET THE DUMB BALL,” and then promptly drop it. “NOW WHAT?” Today, however, it’s the only game in town. I walk over to a once-yellow tennis ball whose fur has been savagely torn off in places and is caked with crusty bits of frozen earth and communal dog saliva (which I actually refer to as paste due to its unusually gluey quality). I bring my right leg all the way back, aim for the ball, and it goes racing along the ground like it’s been shot out of a cannon. Olive didn’t quite expect this. She scrambles from her stationary position and zig zags across the field like an all-terrain vehicle gone mad, chasing the ball and picking it up in her mouth before it ever comes to a breathless rest. “Christ,” I mutter to myself, thinking, I don’t want to walk halfway across this stadium-sized field for the ball. And then Olive starts trotting back with it. In what I can only describe as a calculated act of “intelligent defiance,” she casually saunters toward me and gently releases the ball…about 10 feet away from where I’m standing. Clearly, she has just thrown down the gauntlet. “FINE, YOU LITTLE BALL BUSTER. LET’S SEE IF YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN.” I repeat the exercise about six more times. Each time, Olive races out to retrieve the ball, trots back with it and drops it about 10 feet away from me. I am now certain that this is her way of saying: “HEY MUSHROOM TUCHES. IF I HAVE TO RUN ACROSS THE FIELD FOR THIS DISGUSTING BALL, THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IF WALK A FEW FEET TO RETRIEVE IT.” Now I get it. It’s her way of playing fetch with me. I shake my head as I obediently walk over to retrieve the ball and kick it toward the cloudy horizon one last time as she spasmodically tries to anticipate its trajectory. I marvel at the fact that somehow, a game that is supposed to be largely physical is actually more mentally challenging with a weimaraner. To be continued…

  1. Hahahahaha! I love the phrase “zig zags across the field like an all-terrain vehicle gone mad”. I can picture that! 🙂

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