Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dog Efficiency

Pappy, being a nonstop ball-chaser, has to conserve energy to devote to his primary task. It is truly astounding the amount of time he can spend retrieving balls, and some of this is due to his labor-saving strategies. The first he uses at home, where I generally toss balls to him from our back yard patio. He'll race after the ball at top speed, returns as fast as he can, stops short, and lets the ball fly forward bouncing across the flagstones to me. Over the course of a session he probably saves himself from running a few hundred feet, and he's in better position to chase after the next ball. We often get into a really good rhythm that way-- toss, run, bounce, toss, run, bounce. His aim is pretty good, but occasionally his bounce misses. In these cases he runs down the ball, places it on the ground, and then shoots it at me using his nose as a billiard cue. Is this normal?

Pappy Awaiting LaunchThe second labor-saving strategy he uses at the dog park. I toss a ball, and he chases it down. Rather than bring it all the way back to me, he'll take his wet, mud-caked tennis ball to someone close by, drop it on a shoe, and then look pathetic and expectant. It's the rare dog park newbie who isn't conned into tossing the disgusting thing, and even some old-timers are taken in. There's got to be some way to turn this moon-eyed gaze into some cold, hard, holiday cash.


punkinsmom said...

Your Pappy looks so much like my Nutmeg, it's like they're litter-mates (which, given the logistics, is impossible). Nutmeg is a lighter shade of brown, but the faces...! Terrier mutts are the best.

3dogcache said...

I do believe that it is Ellie who is the ball chasing fool and has the look to make anyone pick up her ball and toss it.

Pappy's Fella said...

Nutmegsmom, Terriers rule. Hail to all our terrier brothers.

3dog, Remember the subject of the post-- conservation of energy-- which Ellie lacks in spades. Ellie storms around for a few minutes, and then starts panting like a freight train and refusing to give up the ball. Pappy's in it for the long haul. Though, I will grant you that Ellie's tennis balls are truly most disgusting.

FleasGang said...

Need Cash? Sure Pappy, I'll give it too you. How much you need? Yeah, that's fine. How could I resist such a face?

3dogcache said...

I will grant you that Mr. P might conserve energy over the Elster. But Ellie, given optimal conditions, can go forever. Take this evening, my hands can barely type they're so frozen. Ellie wouldn't quit, even when she couldn't find the ball she continued (and as you say, in freight train style) to look for HER ball. She's a natural. And by the way, bred to retrieve, unlike that "...mustachioed terrier mutt, with the bandy-legged gait of a cowpoke and the grizzled mug of a chuckwagon cook" you call a dog!

Pappy's Fella said...

Look into his eyes...you're getting sleepy...sign over the deed to your house and your car title to Pappy, c/o Pappy's Fella, Inc.

That Ellie sounds like a lot of work.

Buster the Wired Fox Terror said...

Pappy has his fella trained like a well oiled machine.

Bussie Kissies

Disgruntled Owl said...

Cheerin cheerin cheerin for your blog! GOOOOO NaBloPoMo yeah!!!

*this comment brought to you by an official NaBlo Cheering Owl*

P.S. Chewy muddy tennis balls are eewwwww. But I'd probably pick it up of Pappy looked at me like that. He's very convincing, isn't he?

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

I have tried to turn this into cold, hard cash to no avail. Perhaps Pappy will have better luck. I saw that you have the Dogmark Cool Dog Site of the Day -- congratulations!

Onion said...

Pappy, you just got Dogmark site of the day. You ROCK! Congratulations, my beardy friend!

Pappy's Fella said...

Buster, I have to say, with the amount of effort Pappy puts into getting me out into the cold to throw the ball, he's earned it.

Disgruntled Owl, Go baby go, eight days left.

Ayatollah, sir, Let's not forget, you're in the running for Cool Blog of the Month this month. You have my vote.

Onion, Pappy will never outshine your star.