Fetch!

Playing is the work of puppies.  Cookie takes her job very seriously.

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From the start until the end of Cookie’s day, she seeks someone or something to have fun with.  Inside the house she has a collection of toys including a soft fuzzy ball we can throw without breaking anything (hopefully), a purple wubba, rope toys for tugging and toys that dispense treats when they are rolled over and over.  But Cookie doesn’t limit herself to playing just with those…socks, slippers, tupperware, and just about anything else she gets ahold of that will get one of us up and running after her in Cookie’s mind qualify as toys.  And while we four humans in the family are her preferred playmates, Cookie will happily “play” (or harass really) with S’more Cat if she encounters her.  Outside in the yard, there is an arsenal of dog toys too, but she prefers to chases squirrels, raid the garage and run out with whatever random object she can grab (usually something smelly from the trash), and rummage through the sticks, leaves, acorns and black walnuts that cover the ground these days.  There are soccer balls and squeaky Kong balls, but these are no fun unless one of us is out there to throw them for her.  On her walks, Cookie takes the leash in her mouth and “walks” us, trying hard to get us to run along with her.  She looks for big branches to drag along while she trots. She dives into the leaf and (now) snow piles. But the most fun of all for Cookie is playing with her fellow neighborhood dogs. This morning for example, at our local spot for letting the dogs frolic off-leash, Cookie played with two black labs and a standard poodle. She “herded”, ran, tussled, pounced upon, was pounced upon, chased balls, and tugged on toys and sticks with these dogs for about an hour.  Encounters like this are the best thing for Cookie, satisfying both her needs for dog-company (she really is a social-animal) and exercise.  Cookie’s playful soul can lift my own spirits when I’m in the middle of household tasks that aren’t fun.  For example, often when I’m at the sink washing dishes, I’ll suddenly feel a cold wet nose and plush ball pressing into the back of my leg. Dishes aren’t important to my dog, and in that moment, as I stop my work and reach for the ball, they become much less important to me too.  I think the greater message is that sometimes I just need to stop working so hard and play a little…and that Cookie’s here to help me with that!  Warm and Fuzzies, Diana

 

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