Recently I went to visit a friend and decided to take Chester along.
I don’t know why I couldn’t have a dog who just lays around. Who isn’t so high maintenance.
And he’s obsessed with playing ball.
He loves to carry one of them in his mouth while pushing the other one with his nose. Sometimes he carries this rawhide chew toy shaped like a cigar and he looks like Winston Churchill pushing the ball.
Chester will play like this for hours. And when people come to visit, he barks at them until they throw the ball.
So when we went to visit my friend, I took a can of brand new tennis balls, Chester’s favorite, sure to keep him occupied and therefore not requiring our constant attention.
Within the first five minutes of playing with the new balls, one of them rolled under the couch.
Right next to her dog’s old worn out rubber ball.
Forget the brand new neon yellow tennis balls.
Chester went bananas trying to get the old ball out from under the couch. He whined. He came and sat right in front of me and stared. Jumped up on me. Barked that shrill, short, high-pitched bark that insists I pay attention to him now.
He made endless trips back and forth to the end of the couch where he could see the ball – just out of his reach.
I tried to interest him in what he already had – in what was rightfully his – in what was actually better than what he was frantically pursuing to no avail.
But it was no use.
He was dead set on retrieving that old rubber ball that belongs to another dog.
I talked to him about being content with his own balls.
Then I got down in the floor and raked it out from under the couch.