Earlier this week, I declared a state of emergency because my red ball had gone missing.
I have never shown much interest in stuffies. I don’t chew bones. I am a ball girl.
It started when I was a pup. Papa sat on the floor with me. He tried to get me interested in the dozen dog toys in the box. I didn’t react. Then he selected a ball and threw it across the floor. I chased after it, picked it up, ran back, and dropped it by his hand. He threw it again, and I retrieved it and brought it back. I had found my leisure activity.
When I was young, I could chase the ball for hours. Papa would throw it from the living room into the dining room, and I would give chase. I played until the ball was soaked with spittle then would hop up on the couch to sleep. Papa sat down and rested. A few minutes later I was rejuvenated. I got down, nosed my ball towards Papa, and barked until he began playing with me again.
As I grew older, my ball time decreased. Now, in my twelfth year, I only play for a short time before breakfast, and a bit later in the day. I still love chasing the ball, but I love resting more.
I am a quirky dog. One of my biggest oddities is that I will only chase one ball. First, it was a blue ball; then it was an orange one. When a ball is lost or has been punctured, the available balls are lined up, and I pick one. The last time I lost a ball, five years ago I selected the red one. Now, it is more bald than red, but I love it. The red ball is the best ball ever.
My red ball loves to hide. It slips under the refrigerator and chairs, in between the stove and the cabinets, and behind the hutch. No matter where it hides, I can sniff it out.
Yesterday morning I did my important business. After Papa showered, I went in search of my ball. I could not locate it. But that was alright. Papa always finds it.
He got on his hands and knees and looked under everything. He moved furniture and looked behind it. The ball was nowhere to be found. Momma assured me that she would find the ball when she cleaned while Papa is at work.
Mommy cleaned every inch of the house, and my ball was not found. I paced nervously behind her. “Red ball, oh ball, where could you be?" I pleaded. Momma began to check places where the ball could not possibly have rolled: In the closets, in other rooms, on the porch, but the red ball was nowhere to be found.
It was a deep mystery. The ball could not have left the house, but it was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t pick up its scent. All I could think was the ball rolled away. I hoped not. Despite it only having a patch of red fur left on his round, black body, and covered in slobber, he was loved.
Daddy lined up his balls for me to peruse and pick a new one, but I refused. I was had not given up hope.
By the afternoon, I was slowly accepting that the ball was gone. Every square inch of the house had been searched. Somehow my little red ball had disappeared.
We were having company the next day. One of the guests has to use the lift recliner. Mommy turned it in on to make sure the chair worked. When she set the setting for “up,” my ball popped out from between the cushions. When it hit the floor, I ran to it and gave it a big lick.
We have no idea how my ball ended up wedged in the lift chair. No one has sat there since the ball disappeared. It is too high for me to jump. River Song can, but she wouldn’t hide my ball. Would she?
I am just happy my heroic mom rescued my ball. It was a terrible two days.
Come on the little ball; we need to rest.