September 13, 2010

Sporting Events

This weekend we all sat on the couch and watched a human game they call basketball. All these people ran around with a big orange ball and threw it a lot — at each other, up in the air, and sometimes into a crowd of people. It was so weird. Meanwhile, Gretchen jumped up and down and booed and moaned and the whooped it up right at the end of the game when a Bird threw the ball and made everyone in the crowd stand up and cheer really loud.

I was so confused. “That person looks like a person. Why do they call her Bird?” I asked.

“Her name is Sue Bird,” Gretchen said, “And she just made the winning shot with seconds to go.”

“But why do they throw the ball away?” I asked still confused “Why don’t they keep it like I do and walk around proudly?”

I never got an answer. So I did some research. Turns out that humans have lots of sporting events — many that involve balls — and some humans are kind of obsessed with these events. At our house, sporting events like tennis and basketball are big on the list and we’ll spend a couple of hours watching them on the weekends. Not all the time, but when some big sporting event happens (like the basketball game on Sunday) we clear our calendar so we can watch.

Rosie and Tyson, I guess, watch as well because whenever Gretchen goes to pick them up, the TV is on with one sport playing or another. At their house, the big game appears to be football, which makes a bit more sense to me because when one guy gets the ball he keeps it and rarely gives it away. That’s much more canine than tennis where they bat the ball back and forth. That just seems silly.

Rosie and Tyson got to play with my ball today as they went on a nice long walk and then ended up at the tennis courts. Well, Tyson plays with the ball and Rosie waits for Gretchen to throw treats that she can chase.

Landing at the tennis courts is a sport in and of itself, I suppose. During the warmer months, we don’t visit them as much because humans are there swatting at balls and never catching them in their slobbery mouths. But even though today was nice (in terms of the weather), no one was at either of the courts so not only did Rosie and Tyson get to play at one court, Gemma, Oshi, and Perrito got to play at the other.

And there they met up with Modoc, a friendly neighbor dog who is obsessed with his glow in the dark ball…only yesterday, he was obsessed with the ball in Gretchen’s backpack — MY BALL!

At least Modoc has the right idea — get the ball and don’t give it up. Now that’s a sport.

For Gemma, the ball is secondary. Her joy is in chasing the dog who has the ball and even though Perrito loves the ball too, he ends up chasing Gemma who chases Modoc. I think it has to do with the fact that his legs are a fraction of the length of Gemma and Modoc’s, but that little guy can move when he wants to!

Chase –now there’s a complicated and appealing sport. Of course, it’s only fun if one dog has a hold of something the other dogs want like a stick or, in my favorite case, a ball. Since Modoc and I prefer a ball over any other item, we become the chased and I can tell that Modoc enjoys that part as much as I do. Sure wish I could have joined them for their romp!

Oshi has no use for any kind of sport except perhaps sleeping or playing spectator.

For Saber, every adventure is a sport whether there’s a ball involved or not. Alice’s sport is hunting. She just wants to find a bird or a squirrel and then point out it quietly. We didn’t get to play any sports on our walk yesterday, though I tried my hardest to bust a move with Saber while Gretchen was trying to pose us.

Alice just stayed as far away as she could…

…and after a scolding, I tried to behave…really, I tried.

I did better at our next stop…

I’m trying desperately to appreciate human sporting events, but it’s taking every fiber of my being to grasp the joys of throwing a ball away. I know we’ll be watching more basketball in the next few weeks, so I’ll really focus on the intricacies of the game and see if my acceptance of human sport changes at all. Meanwhile, I just want to hang with my friends, play some fetch, all the while holding onto my ball as tightly as I can.

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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