Every dog has an ability to focus though some are able to do it a little more successfully than others. I focus on my moms (Gretchen and Ann) and pay close attention to what we are doing next — be it a nap, a meal, a walk, a game, a cuddle. I also focus on play and can be motivated to do just about anything if we are playing fetch or swimming or practicing agility. I can also focus on food, but only special kinds of food.
Captain, my half brother, is staying with us the next few days. His focus appears to be limited to tennis balls. When he came into our house, he searched out all of them and one by one Gretchen put them away in the cupboard so he could focus on getting comfortable in the new space. By the time he’d sniffed out every tennis ball, there were 13 of them in the cupboard.
Lucy, too, is ball focused and has always shown a preference for tennis balls. But today, both Captain and Lucy showed their foci-versati (Latin for flexible thinking)…and it posed a bit of a problem. Gretchen carries tennis balls with her in the dog walking backpack. We find a lot of them on our walks and she picks them up (or I do) and stuffs them into the side pockets. But she also carries my favorite blue and orange ball because I like it the best. We happen to have a number of those blue and orange balls, but usually Gretchen only carries two, sometimes 3 of them with her.
Today we only had two and that, my friends posed a foci-versati problemo! As of late, Lucy has shown more interest in my blue and orange ball than in any tennis ball. It’s been okay because again, we usually have two. Only when the three of us — Lucy, Captain, and I — went out to play this morning, two blue and orange balls was one too few.
Captain wanted the blue and orange ball, too.
Oh boy. It was a dance of who will get to chase the ball now.
Lucy has it…
Captain wants it but for now, he’s content with a tennis ball…
But then Captain gives a pleading look at the orange and blue ball…
Captain gets it…
Lucy wants it…but this time it’s MINE!
Lucy got it back…
But now I have it and am teasing Lucy with it…
Oh boy, it went on like this for a long, long time…back and forth, back and forth. Needless to say, we got lots and lots of exercise!
Eventually, we all got tired…even Lucy though she wasn’t as tired as Captain and me. Still even in our exhaustion, we kept our six eyes focused on the two balls.
We took Lucy back to her mom, good and tired, and picked up Ollie along the way. We went for a long walk and Captain looked at me and said, “You have the best job in the world, little brother!”
“Focus,” I said, “It’s really important to focus.”
Because Captain and I were tired, our walk with Ollie ended at our house so Captain and I could get some water. Ollie was happy to be at the house. He could hardly contain himself and once I had some cool water, I focused on playing with him. He liked that very much!
Ollie felt bad for Captain since he wasn’t involved in our wrestling match so he invited Captain to play. Captain was focused on a tennis ball he found in the bushes. “Wow,” commented Ollie, “He’s totally focused on only one thing!”
“Yep,” I said. “I guess we should just let him be.”
So Ollie and I continued our games of wrestle and leaping off the deck…
Again, Ollie tried to engage Captain in a game of chase, but Ollie only ended up chasing Captain…not the other way around.
Captain kept looking for more tennis balls since he knew the orange and blue ones were tucked away in the backpack. Though he liked playing with the orange and blue ball, his focus returned to tennis balls once at home. He was disappointed to find out that all the tennis balls were in the cupboard.
Eventually, we all got tired…
Gretchen leashed us up again and we headed the long way through the park and back to Ollie’s house. He did what he always does and raced up his porch steps and through his dog door to get a drink of water. Captain and I headed back to the house where we had a really long nap before we headed out again for a swim in the lake. We have photos, but I’ll save those for another time.
We ended our long day with a walk and a game of fetch at the park with Monty. No pictures of that, but Monty comes tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll have lots and lots of fun and lots and lots of photographs of our fun focus!