Dog Ball Obsession

Dog Ball Obsession

(Hm. be I should rephrase that title…)

LOST:One tennis ball. Formerly yellow, now the color of dirt. Possibly slimy. Smells PERFECT. If found please return to Gordon the Labradoodle. Reward!

The thing I feared most has happened. Gordon lost the tennis ball we call Number One.

Number One Ball was the only tennis ball our obviously obsessive compulsive prone chocolate Labradoodle would use.

Now, don’t let this make you think he is nonchalant about his ball play in anyway shape or form. Gordon LOVES to play fetch. Probably in the grand scheme of things his favorite things in the world are:

  1. Treats
  2. Playing fetch, going for walks or otherwise exercising
  3. Shade
  4. Mommy and Daddy

Yes, I think my husband I come just under shade. He get’s hot easily while doing #2 favorite thing and would probably sell us into slavery for shade after that.

Told you I’d get it!

But as much as Gordon LOVES to play ball, it has to be with Number One Ball. No other ball will do. You could throw him 57 balls and he will sniff them all until he finds Number One Ball. You can throw him Number One 10 times in a row, with him eagerly bringing it back each time, then slip in what appears (to my stupid human nose) to be a similar ball instead, and he will refuse to fetch it, and then sit in front of you until you admit you have Number One.

He has been known to bring Number One into the house and sleep with it like a teddy bear. You’ll see him napping somewhere cool and then suddenly you notice there is a dirty tennis ball nestled between his dream-twitching paws. You can be sitting at your desk, happily typing along, and Gordon will bring Number One into the office and DRIBBLE IT (dropping and picking it up repeatedly to get your attention) until you go play ball with him. If you make him leave it outside when he doesn’t think he was quite tired enough yet (Tongue on the ground? What tongue on the ground, nooo… I’m fiiiine… throwtheballthrowtheballthrowtheball..) he will sit and stare at it through the sliding glass door.

Alas, Number One mysteriously disappeared. We’ve looked EVERYWHERE. For days Gordon refused to play ball and just wandered sadly around the yard, sniffing, searching for Number One. A week later, out of sheer desperation, he’s resorted to playing fetch with an old lacrosse ball we inherited on a walk one day, but it just isn’t the same.

Wondering if this was a Labradoodle trait in general, I posted the question on a vibrant little Doodle Chat site called Doodle Zoo to see if other Doodle’s were as in need of Lexapro as Gordon.  Apparently, he isn’t alone. In fact, there’s a Doodle girl named Millie out there who trumps him. Her mother Bev wrote:

ABSOLUTELY! That is EXACTLY what Millie does.Glad to hear there is another doodle who is as weird as Millie!!…
AND to go one step further. She ONLY plays with balls that have already been mangled/ripped by another dog already. IF the ball is fully intact, she has no interest in it. She never chews up balls herself and doesn’t further chew her current favourite’, so it will last for weeks and weeks but eventually becomes so ruined that it is useless and it has to GO. Then she’ll sulk for days until she chooses a new favorite. Drives us CRAZY. The only good thing is that I haven’t bought balls in years. She just finds discards at the park and brings them home.
The only variation to this is that sometimes she’ll go crazy over some ball at the park and I think aha, a new fav so we bring it home and then she has no further interest in it.
And one other thing that I find totally BIZARRE is that the ball she chooses to currently bond with doesn’t even have to be a ball. It can be a little tiny piece of an old ball. She seems to think I can actually throw that for her!! I have to disabuse her of that idea quickly. Sometimes she even thinks a bit of tennis ball fluff is a good plan. Sorry pup – no go!
And one more little quirk – she prefers her balls to be kicked not thrown. She’ll still go for it if it’s thrown (but not always) but just LOVES it when you kick them. She tries to play blocker and not let it past her. Sometimes she gets them smack in the face but it doesn’t bother her.
Thanks for posting about Gordon. I’ve meant to post about this since forever ago to see if any other doodles were as quirky. Glad to hear that there’s another one out there!

So there you go! Not so weird after all is my little man. Millie makes Gordon look as stable as the Dalai Lama. (Who, I am told, rarely plays fetch – but when he does, is open to tennis balls of any condition or color.) Tags: dog, dog ball obsession, dog balls, gordon, labradoodle






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