Lady, my sweet Lady, struck a chord it seems.
As I write, the little lady herself is stretched out under my computer station — not quite underfoot, but almost. For six days we have been learning to live together — Lady, “the Big Guy” and me.
We are learning to fetch. A streak of black, she flies over the grass in pursuit. Sometimes she catches the ball in the air! Then she takes a couple of laps around the yard, drops the ball in the grass, drops on top of it and rolls back and forth over it, wiggling, kicking, writhing in joyous abandon. Ecstasy in motion! Then, rolling onto her belly, she lies there panting, the ball between her outstretched forelegs.
I approach, treat in hand. She eyes me warily. Will she take the treat and let me have the ball for yet another toss? Or will she snatch it away just as I reach for it, pivot and race away, tail flying? We’ve had it both ways. Lots of treats have been her reward for giving it up to pursue anew. My reward over six days, a sore shoulder — all in a good cause. She now knows that if she gives up the ball she will reap double rewards — a treat AND another romp after the ball.
Walking is still a contest of wills. “We” are in training. I keep her on a close lead. She persists in pulling a half step further ahead than I want her to. When she finely lets the lead relax and walks as I am willing her to, I praise her. She is “getting it” but then she forgets and lapses back into that slight but persistent pull.
But I shall persevere.
Blessedly, she is crate trained and goes willingly to bed at the end of the day. She’s loveable. She’s smart. She is truly a joy! She is a one-year-old black Lab. And she is a rescue.