Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scooter's Red Ball

Scooter loves his routines. If it's time to go "out" for any reason, whether for a walk or for dog business, he charges down the front hall and launches himself at the front door. A quick slap on the door, a few vertical springs straight up in the air, and he's good to go.

Most of his day is spent lounging in a chair in the sunroom or on the floor near one of the front windows where he can keep an eye out for his nemesis, Brother. Miss Peg's orange tabby roams the neighborhood in slow, sinuous disdain for Scooter, rolling his eyes as Scooter barks madly to let us know THERE'S A CAT IN THE YARD. Same cat. Every day. Same frantic alarm.

Meal time is bliss time. Scooter warbles his delight that his belly will soon be filled and chows down in terror that someone will steal his food. That's a legacy of his brief abandonment as a newborn puppy in a dumpster. He's never gotten over his fear of hunger.

Then comes the highlight of Scooter's entire day. Some time around 10 pm, the kids and I troop upstairs for showers and reading and other pre-bedtime necessities. Scooter charges up the stairs with his beloved red ball.

This stretchy, holey, 6" diameter ball rests at this moment in Scooter's kennel, with his head lovingly braced against it for an afternoon nap. This evening, I'll toss it from the chair in my bedroom, out the door, and down the stairs. It's a straight shot (though I hit the door frame as often as I get it "in the groove"). Scooter tries to catch it on the fly; if he misses, he charges down the stairs after it. We repeat this toss and fetch at least a dozen times before he changes the game to tug-of-war. Growling ferociously, he snaps and pulls at the red ball as I hold on to it as best I can. He's pretty darned strong. And stubborn.

Finally, he lays the ball down and lies down at the top of the stairs until everyone is settled into their own beds. "Downstairs," I say to him, and he taps down to his kennel.

I'd say Scooter has the Knitternall family well trained.

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