Many people park their cars on my street when they go to the park. It happens all the time, even though there’s plenty of free parking in the lots inside the park, which rarely fill up. As you can probably tell, I don’t like it. The only vehicles I want on my street are UPS trucks. When those other cars unload dogs, I like it even less. I don’t want them around. If I’m outside, resting in my peanut bed on my front walk, I glare at these dogs defiantly, and sometimes even let out a threatening bark or growl. It is MY street, after all.
Two weeks ago, I got even with all those dogs. Some dumb mutt whose owner parked a car across the street in front of my friend Claire’s house left his dog’s ball behind on the gravel between the gutter and the sidewalk. Since the ball was orange, I saw it immediately, and Heather took me across the street and let me pick it up. I’ve barely taken it out of my mouth ever since.
Mike quickly put the kibosh on interior usage, correctly surmising that this bouncy orange ball was likely to careen into something breakable, and that if I had it in the house it would be found in only two locations: inside my gnawing jaw or at his feet next to my pleading eyes, demanding a game of fetch. So Mike hides it inside his pack when we come inside the house. I know where it is, but I can’t get at it until we go out for our afternoon walk for extended fetch. I am playing this game with renewed enthusiasm.
How much do I crave that ball in my mouth? One day Heather came home from work early but immediately plugged in her computer and told me to take a walk with only Mike. Normally Mike would have to drag me out of the house if Heather doesn’t come. This time, I could not have cared less: Mike had the orange ball, and all I wanted to do was fetch it, which I did for at least 45 minutes straight. Heather was almost done working by the time we got back,, for crying out loud.
The ball is an orange Chuckit! Whistler, and I heartily recommend everything about it whether or not they approach me for an endorsement deal. Yes, the ball whistles when it’s thrown, due to the four holes that open to an empty core inside a bumpy, rubbery surface. The noise is fun, but there are other things about this ball that I like even better. I haven’t been able to break it (yet), and when I chew, it’s soft enough to compress without a lot of effort and small enough to fit comfortably in my mouth. In other words, maximum gnawability. I also love its bounciness and its orange color, which makes it easy for me to find when it ricochets onto the forest floor.
Heather felt guilty for not trying to find the ball’s rightful owner, but there’s no way I would ever consider giving up this ball to some carpetbagging dog from some other neighborhood that I don’t even know. Finders keepers, losers weepers, I say. Isn’t that the Law of the Pack?
So leave me alone, OK? I’ve got important work to do.