This afternoon I took Emma to the park. I thought we could sit under a tree, I could read a book, she could contemplate the state of the world…
I made the mistake of bringing her ball and thought I would throw it a few times for her so she could stretch and unwind before settling down next to me in contented companionship. What was my first clue that this might not work according to my imagining? Maybe it should have been when I put the ball in the bag with the book, and the towel, and her grooming instruments (yes, several). The ears perked, the tail rose, the eyes sparkled. Did I pay attention? No.
We got to the park. I laid the towel under a tree. I groomed Emma for, oh, a few minutes, and then – my mistake – I took out the ball. She is such an amazing dog – that ball comes out and her world shrinks to only it. Squirrels could rush up to her and she would pay no attention. Her focus is on that ball and nothing else. I ask her to sit while I throw it and wait till my release to fetch it – she does so, every tendon and sinew quivering. Then on my release she rockets to the ball and brings it back, spitting it out and dancing in anticipation for the next throw. But whatever I do, it is never enough. I think she would run herself to collapse for that ball.
So when we stopped, it was torture.
And there was a small boy playing ball with his dad.
That was torture too. She wanted to help. These are trying times!
I didn’t give in, I didn’t bring the ball out again. But I didn’t get much time to read my book.
Live and learn.