Here’s an idillic scenario, it’s Sunday morning, sunny, perhaps a little warm, and you think, you’re going to have a leisurely walk in the park this morning with the dog, perhaps get a coffee and watch said beautiful dog run graciously onto the horizon and back.
So you arrive in the park, get your coffee, everything’s going as planned, you even bump into your lovely friends, how nice to see them, dog’s running happily, when suddenly: the dreaded shouting and a tearful little face in the distance; the next thing you know your morning zen has gone out the window, your coffee is flying up in the air and you are running across the field shouting like a person with a million ants inside your pants. And the reason? Ah well, your dog has stolen a football and something needs doing.
And here comes the dilemma:
As a dog person that has been in this situation many times before, you know that chasing your dog is never going to work, and there are very good reasons for this. The whole point of your dog stealing the ball is so that you and everyone else around him breaks into a chase, what could be more fun? And yet, let’s face it, unless you are Hussain Bolt, you are never going to catch up with your him, specially not when your beloved is a sighthound, born to run!
On the other hand you may chose to resolve it in the sensible way, by not running. After all you know that this is the best tactic, and that eventually your dog will get bored if no one is following. If this is the way you play it, then you have an even bigger problem my friend. The wronged party: you know, the kid that has now broken into full tears at best – the parent who is now rehearsing his Prodigy version of “Smack my b… up” on you, or the guys trying to play their Sunday match will definitely think that you are not dealing with the issue! You careless, boneless, evil person with a dog that is Ouuut of contraaaolllll!
So you chase, and your dog gets more and more excited, and by now there are definitely toothmarks in that ball, and if you don’t catch him very quickly, there will be a flat ball flopping about his mouth any time now.
I know I’m not alone on this one, I have seen this scene repeated many times over in all the parks we walk, and the only consolation then is “oh i’m so happy it was not me and my dog this time!”.
I know that avoidance of the areas where the ball is bouncing is what most people will do. But what do you do when more and more of our local park is covered in football pitches on a daily basis, and there are hundreds of balls flying about at any given time?
Anyone has some cool strategies on this? We would love to hear, and perhaps next time this happens I will not look so uncool any more.