June 22, 2011

Mind Games

What could be better than a large enclosed space where everyone is free to run, chase, and sniff their neighbors butts unassailed? A large enclosed space where you can do all that...and THEN jump into the water! Welcome to Dog Beach: the urban canine's paradise. I love walking past this place and watching the antics of dogs as they frolic in the waves, run along the sand dripping wet, and then walk right up to their owners and exuberantly shake themselves dry...or rather: redistribute the moisture from their sloppy hides to the clothes of their humans.

This morning the place was crowded, but my attention was drawn to one couple in particular who were evidently having some communication issues. Ms. Owner was standing in front of her happy-go-lucky companion holding a tennis ball in one of those fluorescent launchers that can extend the range of each throw to olympic proportions. Fido was prancing around in front of her with that "gimmie the ball! gimmie the ball!" look plastered all over his face. Ms. Owner stood by unperturbed and pointed commandingly to the south--indicating that she planned to fling the ball far down the beach and parallel to the water line. Assuming Fido had received and processed that message she wound up and threw! Upon seeing that beloved of all movements: the release of energy that unequivocally means the object of play has been released into the universe, Fido bounded away from his owner...and gleefully jumped straight into the water following a path precisely perpendicular to where the ball had been thrown.

Ms. Owner cocked a hip and looked on with exasperation as Fido realized he'd missed the ball and paddled back to shore.

My step-dad Rod believes that dogs communicate with each other telepathically and that they try to do the same with their humans. You know what I mean. Like those times the family's sitting down for a meal and Rusty walks politely up to someone, cocks his head, and with a tiny flick of his little pink tongue sits back on his haunches to beg. According to Rod he's attempting to place this thought in the head of his human: "Hey lady...I ain't e't in days...please gimmie just a little somethin' would ya?"

So on the beach this morning one of three things could've happened to create the drama I witnessed:

1. Ms. Owner had assumed she'd read Fido's message clearly and simply as: "gimmie the ball! gimmie the ball!" but had instead missed the full intent of his communication which was rather: "gimmie the ball in the water! I wanna get wet!"

2. Ms. Owner had indeed understood that Fido wanted to jump in the water again, but was determined to make him follow her instructions rather than his own inclinations. Though she physically gestured her intent properly, she neglected the necessary telepathic reinforcement of the idea--causing her well meaning Fido to misread orders.

3. Fido knew exactly what Ms. Owner was asking of him, but thought to himself, "Why in the world would you EVER not want to throw the ball into the water? I mean, that's way more fun than just chasing it on the sand?" So Fido then decided he'd remind Ms. Owner of the only reasonable direction for a ball to go when it's thrown from Dog Beach...what could be more obvious?

Let's hope this pair eventually reaches an understanding.

1 comment:

  1. I'm STILL laughing!!! Rod enjoyed it with me. You are in rare form!!! Brilliant