One Big Playful Dog

Like most Labradors, Tara, Daniel’s big, young, sunshine-colored dog, is a cheerful extrovert. Sometimes she tries to get Ready to play. She lowers her front end, waggles her rear, and makes some feints and short pounces in his vicinity, again and again, while he stands still, a stolid, business-like dog. Play, for him, means tennis balls. Produce a tennis ball, and Ready loses his head completely, becoming a single-minded tennis-ball-chasing projectile, as focused as an athlete in “the zone.” We can create something of a win-win by holding a throw-and-fetch session while Tara is around. With all the running and barking and carrying on, Tara thinks they are playing.

I have never seen Tara try to engage Bridget in play. Recreation for Bridget is a walk with Mistress, or chasing a flashlight beam on the floor.

But Tara has at last found a playmate in Sam, Ann and Ben’s Chihuahua mix, whom she frequently visits. Sam was reluctant at first, but having discerned that Tara does not intend to eat him, he now frisks and plays happily with his big yellow friend. Tara whines with anticipation whenever we drive to Ann and Ben’s.

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