Early on, a ball held no particular meaning for her. She had no interest in chasing a ball thrown by a person, and would return only a bewildered look to an enthusiastic thrower. On her own, she would occasionally toss a ball into the air and chase it, but she would also do the same with a small stone, or a twig, or a squirrel carcass for that matter. A fuzzy yellow tennis ball may have been interpreted as some sort of prey, as I've found several tennis balls in the yard that have been skinned; bald tannish orbs with chunks of yellow pelt scattered nearby.
It's taken a while for Scout to realize that a ball can be a fun way to interact with people. Over the past couple of months and with the improving weather, a transition has taken place. She gets excited when one of us picks up a ball, and usually holds enough attention to fetch it several times in a row in our back yard.
Yesterday, for the first time outside our yard, I took her to a grassy field with the sole intent of playing fetch. She has a bit of a history of wandering, so I left her leash on to have something to grab in case she decided to have selective hearing when I wanted her to return to me. As it turns out, the leash precaution was unnecessary, and she did a terrific job of bringing me the ball.
|Scout is off after the ball with the speed of a P-51 on war emergency power.|
|In part speed, in part a low-tech phone camera contributed to a blurry image, but you get the idea.|
We have a long way to go to achieve master fetching status of the Brandy variety, but it's a goal to shoot for. Next up, in addition to more ball fetching practice, will be the introduction of other objects, specifically flying discs, including the super cool glowing alien spacecraft type.
|Displaying excellent technique all around, both throwing and fetching.|
|A big doggy smile after quite a few successful volleys.|