Nov. 24th, 2011

constance: (*celebrates*)
Man, Gilly loves to play catch. She's one of those indefatigable dogs, which you may have gathered from previous stories, and she plays no differently than she does anything else. She throws her whole body into the game, and she'll keep playing long after everyone else is tired of it.

Here's how she lets me know she wants to play: she picks up whatever object she wants me to throw for her and brings it to me, whereupon I decide whether it's an appropriate item for a game of catch (balls, soft chew bones, the rope toys that never last longer than a few days in our house) or not (that one especially hard toy for superchewers, shoes, paper from the trash) and either put it back where it belongs or toss it for her. And we keep going like that for ages. Sometimes she wants to catch it, so she'll jump for it, and sometimes she'd rather chase it so she'll wait for me to throw it and run after it.

She'll always bring the ball (or whatever) back to me, though, even if she's tired of playing. Instead of, you know, not returning to me, or dropping to the ground to enjoy a little private chew, she'll bring it back and lay it in my lap, and I throw it and she just sits there. Sometimes the ball (or whatever) actually hits her and glances gently off her, and she lets it. Whether the ball's hit her or not, though, she just stares at it as it rolls to a stop, and then there's a significant pause and she hauls herself to her feet to retrieve it, and then she brings it back to me again. It took me a long time to realize that I will always be the one to end this game: now when she just watches the ball bounce past and looks at it as though she's thinking, despairingly, my god, what will it take to just get this woman to stop, already, I just take the ball and lay it gently at my feet, and she either grabs it for that solitary chewing session, or otherwise goes about her business, and that's that, until she decides she wants to play again.

Often, that's about three minutes.

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March 2012

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