Usually the part of my daily walk from our house to my favorite fetch location is not all that exciting. I like to sniff around at the park entrance to see who has signed the guest book, take care of my toileting needs, check the chapel area for anything that may have fallen from picnic tables and then hurry across the parade ground to the secret spot where I can chase that ball. That’s pretty much all I want to do these days. Mike is worried he’ll need Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm.
But the other day when we hit the parade ground, something caught my nose and stopped me in my tracks.
I moved in quickly for a closer look. What could it be?
One deep sniff was all I needed for confirmation. YES! It was a plastic baggie containing four Milk Bone biscuits (medium), each a different flavor. Just sitting there, waiting for me. I wasted no time getting my snout in the bag and chomping.
I ate them so fast that they were gone by the time Mike’s camera was ready to take their picture. But to me, however, not forgotten. I think of that wonderful discovery every time we pass the spot where I found it, making sure to crane my neck and turn up my nose to check again, just in case.
Chloë and Smiley
I enjoyed my first trip to Port Townsend two years ago so much, I decided to take Mike and Heather there again for my third birthday. This time was almost as good, the only disappointment being that on this visit our hotel didn’t have a lobby; I missed being able to strut through several times a day and receive compliments and treats every time. This hotel was a little noisier, too, and I had to deliver a lot of quick warning barks over the weekend to let everyone know that I heard something. Nobody is sneaking in on my watch. Not with me and my pal Smiley on duty.
On the Upper Big Quilcene Trail
During the day we went hiking at a couple of places that used to be forts in World War II, just like Discovery Park was. But these parks were much woodsier than our park, with more real animals running about that needed chasing. I did my part to make sure no humans were threatened by any of them.
On one of the days away we drove deep into the national forest and hiked in some very tall woods. To me, any sword fern might as well be a Sequoia, but even I can tell that the trees where we hiked are a lot bigger than the ones I normally see. I like to stick closer to Mike and Heather when we go on trails like this one. Some of those drops over the side look pretty steep.
No ball playing is allowed on those trails, according to Mike and Heather. Luckily, we also found plenty of wide, flat trails on those former military bases, so we had some good games of fetch, and then we found out that the abandoned structures called gun batteries made great amphitheaters for a spirited game. Check out my video; as usual, Mike screwed up the sound, but his camera technique actually seems to be improving. Hard to believe, I know.
I had few complaints. I had to sleep inside my travel crate all weekend, of course, and I wasn’t supposed to get on the furniture in the hotel at all. But on the second afternoon after I ate my dinner, Heather put a couple of towels on the bed and let me snuggle with her while she took a nap. I loved the hiking and the ferry ride, but for me, that nap was the highlight of the weekend. All three of us had a great time, but there’s no doubt my time was the best.
Chloë relaxes in her room.
Mike’s idea of fetch is to send me repeatedly on short distances to see how many times in a row I’ll bring in back. We’ve done as many as 25, 30. And other days none, depending on my mood and degree of pent-up energy.
Heather sends me on more challenging routes, more likely to be longer and to go off course, so I have to dive into piles of leaves or vines. Heather has a powerful arm, but she’s erratic and lacks Mike’s finesse as a slow-pitch softball pitcher and Skee-Ball devotee.
Below is an example of the paces Heather puts me through. This video was shot in October on a rainy afternoon in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. That background noise that sounds like tin foil crackling is the rain bouncing off trees. I apologize for the shaky video and botched soundtrack. I just don’t know; I ask for Spielberg, and they send me Mike. Go figure.
First I thought that this would be a really big deal for my career development, having my videos on the website for the Visi-Ball. They are the first videos on the site, and thus are certain to set the standard for all others that follow. In no time at all, I’m sure, my videos will go viral, and I’ll become an Internet sensation.
Chloë relaxes at home.
Then I remembered: I’m already an Internet sensation. And a published author to boot.
Meanwhile, the new Visi-Balls arrived and I started using them. These are the ones the company so graciously promised after the one I had mysteriously popped open. There were two new balls, so Mike finally trashed the broken one. A good thing, too: Although we haven’t been using the broken ball for fetch, I couldn’t help noticing it was sitting on top of the TV cabinet, and I haven’t lost my jones for gnawing on it (particularly that small inner ball). Now it’s out of sight, out of mind. I’ve moved on.
I’ve decided to retire the two other Visi-Balls that I’ve been using and chase my new ones exclusively until they are either lost or destroyed, so I can report back to the company about their quality and durability. I have a feeling that if I give these new balls my personal seal of approval, it can only be a matter of time before the debut of the Chloë Autograph Model, to be followed by my first national tour. Hey, when you sleep as much as I do, it’s good to dream big.
Chloë in blue bed with bone