Sunday, March 28, 2004


Abby dribbles.

This would not be an unusual phenomenon were Abby an infant, a doddering fool, or a basketball player...but Abby is a schnauzer.

She's the dog of one of Amy's clients. Since Amy is not really able to drive these days I go along whenever Amy makes a service call. Sometimes I'm able to be of use, updating virus protection or installing software, but most of the time I simply wait for Amy to resolve the current computer problem and then return to my role as chauffeur, although Amy prefers to refer to me by my formal title: lackey.

As with most dogs, Abby has her own peculiarities. She barks incessantly at every new arrival, she bites some folks, and saves virtually all of her affection for the people nearest and dearest to her, those who feed her.

For whatever reason, Abby and I have always gotten along and soon she taught me the game of Abby's rules.

If you only have one ball and throw it, Abby will scamper after it, snatch it...and then never give any consideration to the concept of returning it to you. This in itself is not unusual. I've seen this particular form of canine greed with our own dogs quite often. It makes for a very short game of fetch, not to mention a less than satisfying way to pass the time. However if you have an extra tennis ball, Abby puts a whole new spin on the game.

There's no real trick to it - you throw the first ball and once Abby has full possession of it, you toss the second.

If I did this with any of our dogs they would either drop the first ball and grab the other, ignore the second ball completely, stand there confused, or in the case of Winston our special needs dog, sit down and howl.

Abby dribbles...literally.

I don't mean she drools, although there is a component of that I suppose. Abby will clutch one ball in her mouth and then very deliberately and with great accuracy she will kick the second ball. She moves it a few inches at a time using alternating paws until it rolls to a point where she deems it's close enough for you to pick up. Then she waits for you to throw it again. She never loses possession of the first ball, but she'll dribble that second ball back to you every time.

This is Abby's style of fetch.

Maybe this isn't so uncommon, but I've never seen any other dog do it. I find it amazing.

I enjoy this game with Abby. It passes the time, but it also serves as a good reminder to me.

That little game of fetch admonishes me to be open to new ways of looking at things...most especially those things I presume I already know.