Story: Play Ball!

It usually takes only a few minutes. I bring the dogs out into the back yard, they do a perimeter check, sniff around for squirrels or other Beasties that Must Be Chased and get other necessary doggy business out of the way.

And then I hear it. Squeak. Squeak. Squeak. Bounce. A lime green ball rolls into view. Followed by a smiling Tucker. “Ball?” he wags at me. “Ball? Can we play? Huh? Now? Can we play Ball? Now?” He picks it up again. Squeak. Squeak. Squeak. Toss. Wag.

I always give in. It makes Tucker so happy and is such good exercise. I throw the Ball. He brings it back. I throw the Ball. He brings it back. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Cold. Hot. Wet. Dry. Doesn’t matter. It’s all about the Ball.

It’s part of being a terrier, hardwired into his very essence. Must. Chase. Ball.

A dog holds a green ball

Tucker and his current favorite Ball. The initial cap B in Ball is on purpose. It’s the way Tucker sees it: Ball.

My other two dogs will run after a ball, if properly motivated: a treat every few tosses. Jasper will run to get a ball–as long as the grass isn’t wet and nobody threatens to take it. And by nobody, I meant sweet Lilah, who will slam into Jasper and steal the ball. Or she’ll trot after one herself, gently lifting it from the ground and bringing it back, sweetly depositing it at my feet.

After a few rounds, Jasper and Lilah tire of the game, and settle down to watch Tucker do his thing–from a safe distance.

Jasper and Lilah relax in the back yard.

Jasper and Lilah would rather watch birds and squirrels and Tucker. They don’t understand the appeal of chasing a ball over and over…and over again.

Tucker takes Ball seriously. He doesn’t need treats; his reward is the chance to run after the Ball yet again.

Tucker the dog waits for the ball to be thrown.

The Ball is in my hand and Tucker is waiting. Notice Lilah in the background. She’s just not interested.

The anticipation is great. “Throw it. Throw the Ball! Throw it now!”

Dog chases ball

And he’s off!

And he’s off, tearing full speed after the Ball, often leaping to pluck the thing out of the air.

Dog leaps in the air

The dog flies!

And then back he comes.

Dog runs with ball in mouth

Now that the snow is mostly gone, the yard is not much more than dead  grass and patches of sticky mud, which collects on Tucker’s Velcro-like fur–and the Ball. After Tucker catches the sloppy, shlorby orb, he adds a nice layer of dog slobber. Which is why I use a ball thrower–and  taught Tucker to place his Ball directly in it.

Dog puts ball in thrower.

First he has to squeak it a few times; then he puts it in the thrower. It’s in the dog rules under Section Three: Squeaky Balls.

He does this willingly and happily, although sometimes he deliberately misses just for the fun of chasing the rolling Ball around, squeaking it, and putting it back in.

Dog waiting for ball to be thrown.

What are you waiting for? The Ball is in the right place! Why aren’t you throwing it yet?

This way my hand doesn’t have to look like his paws.

Muddy dog paw

This is a front view of a paw. The mud goes halfway up the back of his leg.

Which is why, before we go inside, I walk Tucker through what’s left of the snow piles–to try to clean some of the muck off before we head inside.

Three dogs on a last pile of snow

Can you tell who had the most fun today?

So, while it came seem a bit incessant–okay, a LOT incessant–I love throwing the Ball for Tucker. It’s so easy to provide such joy–and a dog’s joy is contagious. Who could resist such a happy face?

Tucker loves to play Ball

Throw it again!

Tell me you’re not smiling after looking at that face!

What do your pets do that drive you nuts or make you smile or both?

This post is part of the Monday Mischief blog hop. Stop by some of the blogs below and see what other mischief has been made.

19 Comments on "Story: Play Ball!"

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  1. Amy says:

    What a sweet happy face! Of course he is making me smile, such joy he takes in his lime ball!

  2. Flea says:

    Tucker is such a handsome boy! I wasn’t a huge terrier fan until we got one of our own. So far he doesn’t play ball, but we’re working on it. He’s only nine pounds. I have tiny tennis balls that are just his size. 🙂

  3. When Mr. N wants something, he’ll make little whining noises and stomps his foot. It cracks me up. And Terriers rock!

  4. meowmeowmans says:

    Aw! We love Tucker’s sheer, unadulterated happiness about playing ball. 🙂

  5. Tucker had so much fun. Great action shots. Have a great day.

  6. That happy face from Tucker when he is bringing the ball back is priceless. They all seemed to had so much fun. Great pictures.

  7. Tucker

    You’re funny!! And clever to put the ball in the thrower thingy! I’d be more like Jasper and Lilah, though actually if you were chasing the ball I’d probably be chasing you, that’s my thing!

    And yes you do look very cute in that pic at the end, well all of them actually!

    Have fun,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

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