The Working Dog at Play

Dora in the yard

Dora in the yard

I haven’t bragged about Dora for a while, so it’s time to update you on what a great dog she is and what a great match this has turned out to be.

Last Monday, my friend Dan took us to a sporting goods store to buy tennis balls for Dora. She has a wonderful new toy called a Canine Cannon, a gift from Uncle Dan, where you put a tennis ball in the end of a rifle like contraption and then shoot it out across the yard. She absolutely loves this game, but as she dashes back with the ball in her mouth, she chomps on it vigorously in her excitement, and it doesn’t take long for the ball to be destroyed. When we got to the store, we were directed to the second floor. After getting off the elevator, we zigzagged all over the place and finally found the tennis balls. After we made our selection, I said, “OK, let’s go,” and that’s all Dora needed. She took the lead, zigging and zagging across the store, without any hints from Uncle Dan, and without hesitation, and she proudly took us directly back to the elevator. It’s like she says, “I got this. And Dan is one of the few people who get it that the dog can do her work best if he stays one step behind my right shoulder. That way, it’s clear to the dog that she’s in charge. When we strode up to the elevator, he said “I’m so impressed with her confidence, I could almost cry. She is just so awesome.”

Back at home, we replaced the old ratty ball. As I shot it out over the yard from my chair on the patio, , Dan took pictures of this gloriously happy girl, sitting in wrapped attention as I aimed and then leaping up to catch the ball as it sailed over her head. I hope you can see the pure joy in her play and get the pure joy I feel in her work.

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