Monday, December 01, 2003

The Lighter Side: Auto Ball Return

We were sitting in the hot tub the other evening. Jake was out and about in the dark yard, conducting an extensive investigation of some random corner. Tika got her Tika Toy (used to be "The Big Blue Thing"--of various colors--under Remington's dominion) and brought it over for some play. I tossed it for her several times and then I told her that was enough and went back to my conversation.

A little later, Jake came over and detected serious play molecules in the air and realized he'd been left out. He went looking for something to play throw with, and found Tika's Toy lying on the lawn. He growl-wrestled with it a bit, which got Tika's attention, and then he brought it over to me.

Tika stood near him in submissive annoyance (ears turned towards back of head but clearly thinking "This is 'Tika's Toy' he's got! That's as in 'Tika,' that's me!"). Jake looked up at me, wagging his tail, and dropped the toy for me to throw. Whereupon Tika lunged in front of him, grabbed the toy, and trotted out onto the lawn.

Now Jake did the submissive annoyance thing (ears turned towards the back but clearly thinking, "You weren't playing with it! Not fair! Not fair!") and followed her out to the lawn, two steps behind her shoulder.

On the lawn, Tika realized she was bored (no one was throwing the toy for her, after all, nor playing tug of war) and dropped the toy. Jake swooped in, grabbed the toy, and trotted back to the hot tub, tail wagging.

Indignant, Tika followed. Jake dropped the toy for me to throw. Tika swooped in and picked up the toy and trotted out to the lawn, Jake following. Tika dropped the toy. Jake plunged in and grabbed the toy, trotted back to the hot tub and dropped the toy for me to throw. Tika swooped in, picked up the toy, and trotted out to the lawn, Jake following, whereupon she dropped the toy. Jake swooped in--

By this time, I'm in hysterics in the hot tub. My guests have to ask what's going on. I tell them.

Jake brought the toy back and dropped it for me to throw. Tika swooped and ran. Jake followed. Tika dropped the toy on the lawn. Jake swooped and ran. Jake dropped the toy for me to throw.

Repeat. And repeat. And repeat--

Somewhere in there, one of them realized that no progress was actually occurring, and the game stopped. But I enjoyed myself immensely.

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