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The Tennis Ball Game

About the same time that they met me, my People began to develop a more serious interest in tennis, a curious game that humans play. They had always watched this sport, but now they watch a lot, which I don’t mind because I find the rhythm of the ball quite soothing. Besides, I have a lot in common with Roger Federer (he is almost as debonair as I am).

They also like to play tennis—perhaps I should say “attempt to play tennis”—as often as possible, which in a New York winter is not very often at all. The Guy is not bad and is improving all the time. The Lady, however, was born with subpar depth perception, woeful hand-eye coordination, and no athletic ability whatsoever. I cannot decide whether it is admirable or pitiable that She persists with such enthusiasm in an activity for which she has no aptitude.

All this tennis means that we have a lot of old tennis balls, more than we can really use. For many dogs, who like to fetch tennis balls, that probably sounds like a wonderful thing. But I’m afraid I am not much of a retriever. The Lady donates many of the old tennis balls to the dog run or drops them off for recycling at the tennis center.

However, She has continued to keep a small stash of balls in the closet. Yesterday, I found out why.

Monday was cold and rainy, a miserable day when my walks had to be kept short and the dog run was out of the question. In lieu of outdoor exercise, the Lady decided to test my wits with the Tennis Ball Game. She did not invent this game, nor can She remember where she first read about it, so we can’t give credit to anyone, but if you search for it you’ll find many versions of it online. Here, for example, is one.

At first, I had no idea what She was playing at. I could smell the treats, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do to get them. I wondered if this was some novel version of fetch. Finally, the Lady relented and lifted up a ball to demonstrate. After that, it was a piece of cake…or rather, a piece of crab and alligator treat, which is what smelled so delicious under those tennis balls.

I suppose it would be rude to point out that my tennis learning curve was much shorter than the Lady’s.

Now, how can I convince Her to bake me some crab and alligator muffins?

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14 thoughts on “The Tennis Ball Game

  1. Hey, Albert! The tennis ball game looks like great fun! I especially enjoyed seeing you “in motion.” Have you ever thought about movies? I dare say, the camera loves you.
    It sure was nice for The Lady to go to all that trouble to set up the game and stash those treats for you. Don’t you think it might have been a little insensitive on your part to criticize her aptitude for tennis? I mean, if your wanting her to make those special treats, it wouldn’t hurt to do a little kissing up.
    Anyway, as always, I enjoyed reading your post. You’re very near the top of my “favorite dogs on the planet” list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words, Pickled Pastor. I do not know if I have an acting career in my future. I am not very good at reading cue cards. Anyway, what I really want to do is direct.
      As usual, you are probably right about my insensitive comments. But it is very hard for me to understand why She finds it fun to do something that she is no good at. She does not even get any treats for playing. At least when I have to do things I’m not good at, like going on a see-saw on the agility course, I get a special, yummy treat.
      I suppose humans must have some other motivations besides food and belly rubs. I will try to work harder to understand them.
      Have a good night, and thanks again for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Albert what have you done! The Bean is now pointing out (correctly) that we have a muffin tin. And we have treats. But I don’t play tennis so we only have two balls which my youngest daughter gave her for Christmas. What do you suggest … she is being very angsty and may turn nasty!

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