I'm the worst dog-player-with ever

So yesterday I was at a baby shower in a back yard. Someone had brought a dog, one of those fairly big bounding happy playing dogs. It had (as dogs often do), a saliva-encrusted tennis ball, with which it liked to play fetch.

So I figured I would throw the ball, and the dog would fetch the ball, and we’d have a good time. So I picked up the ball (I should mention here that this was not a very big back yard), threw it, and with a trajectory that could not have been improved in accuracy and efficiency by NASA engineers, it gracefully arced… directly into the base of a cactus. The cactus looked a little bit like this one, with multiple upright parts, surrounding a little space at the bottom, about the size of a tennis ball. I guarantee that if you paid me $100 to throw the tennis ball directly into the heart of the cactus, I could not possibly do so… and yet there it was. The poor happy dog of course went bounding over towards the cactus, and would probably have injured itself, forcing the dog’s owner to retrieve the ball. (I was looking around for a stick to get the ball out with, and then she got it out with a fork, lest you wonder why I did not retrieve the ball myself.)

So, lesson learned, keep the ball away from the cactus.

So, I picked up the ball again, and threw it, not near the cactus. I threw it basically on the ground, bouncing a bit. So I was surprised and dismayed when it hit the corner of a brick firepit, bounced high up into the air, and landed directly in the middle of a bowl of dip on the refreshment table. At which point (a) the dog couldn’t get it, (b) I ruined the best bowl of dip, and © the poor dog’s tennis ball suddenly had a very surprising flavor to it.
After that, I restricted myself to petting the dog.

Ball did not roll into traffic with Dog following, **\ ** you are not the worst dog-player-with ever, just a very poor one. :wink:

Funny story, thank you for sharing.

More dip for me!

Don’t sweat it. If people won’t eat dip just because it has a little doggie spit in it that’s their problem, not yours.

At least it went in the dip and not into the firepit with puppy hot on the trail :eek:

Oh yes, you are terrible. What you need is practice.

My dog suggests that you come down here the next time it’s cool enough, and he’ll take you to the 5-acre field he runs in. You can throw the ball as badly as you like, and it probably won’t go anywhere weird. And he will bring it back to you until your arm falls off. And the other one. And then he’ll insist that you take off your shoes and throw it with your toes.

By the time he’s done with you, ball accuracy will be the least of your problems. :smiley:

(He’s a border collie and a little obsessed, but it can’t be just ANY ball, it has to be a SPECIAL ball.)

snerk I never have problems with ball accuracy. :wink:

Anyway, how exactly does one retrieve a tennis ball from a cactus with a fork? I mean, it seems pretty difficult to stab the thing.

You use it as a scoop to roll the tennis ball from under the sharp, prickly object. Rudimentary tool use, my dear Watson. :cool:

You only have to throw half the dip out.

In fact, if the dip was sufficiently thick enough, it would have left a ball-like impression, and you could just scoop out the contact points. :smiley:


Huh. I guess it shows what hippy-dippy fancypansy people I hang out with that I clicked thinking I’d see a story of playing tug with a dog and being told off/scolded for “teaching it to be aggressive.” That sh!t bugs me. Tug is fun. Ball is fun. Bad bounce luck…not so fun.

Hell, my dogs play tug-of-war between themselves all day long. Hasn’t made them aggressive.

Dog tug-of-war is almost always innocent play to a dog. Dogs who are seriously fighting for an item don’t mess around with trying to pull it away from the posessor: they attack and then take it.

Most of the time dogs playing tug don’t really want the item, and will pause the play when the other dog disengages to get a better grip. A tiny dog and a big dog can play tug, and the big one will adjust his pulling strength so that he doesn’t pull it away.

But just like with child-raising there are people who vouch for a method and are roundly attacked by others who say that it will ruin the dog for life you do that. The only correct method is to chose what is right for your dog. If tug seems to make him agressive, don’t do it, but don’t then assume that your experience means every dog will react in the same way.

I thought it wasn’t necessarily that tug-of-war alone makes a dog agressive. It’s having/letting the dog win may make them start to think they should be the alpha.

Usually, there is no “winner.” If the dog pulls the toy from your hands, most of the time, he’ll push it back towards you, trying to get you to tug it some more.

When my dogs play together, it’s the same way. They end the game by one of them getting bored and walking away, not with one of them finally managing to wrest the toy from the other.

I started playing tug with my brother’s pitweiler, and he said, “You realize that if you let go, you’re her bitch, right?”

Heh-I’m sure he probably was THRILLED to have a new flavored ball. Dogs love people food, well, mostly.