CHAPTER 47 – PLAY BALL!
Dad looked over at Abigail. She was sprawled out, chin on the floor, looking a little bored. Dad knelt down in front of her and said, “What’s the matter, baby? Are you bored? I want to play with you, but I don’t know how. Can you show me?”
Abigail sat up and turned one ear towards him. “OK,” she thought, “I’m game!”
Dad picked up a large willow ball and rolled it towards her. Even though the ball was bigger than her head, Abigail picked it up with her teeth, swung her head to the side, and then flung it back towards Dad as hard as she could. “Ah, OK,” said Dad. He got the picture. Dad rolled the ball back towards her. Again, Abigail grabbed the ball with her teeth and flung it back at him. This went on for four or five times. Then Abigail ran over to him and put her paws on his lap and looked up at him. “Treat please!” she said with her eyes. Dad smiled. “Good girl! You earned this,” he said, breaking off a little piece of a cookie and handing it to her.
As she finished munching on her treat, Dad said, “OK, let’s try something different.” He picked up a smaller willow ball and placed it in front of her. “Bring me the ball,” said Dad, as he held out his hand. Sure enough, Abigail picked up the little ball and placed it in the palm of Dad’s hand. “Good girl!” he said, amazed that she understood. She ran over for a treat. Dad broke off another piece of cookie and handed it to her. Abigail liked this game even more! It had a specific goal. She understood she had completed it when the ball was in Dad’s hand.
From then on, no words were needed. It became a little ritual with them every day. Abigail was very proud of herself. She had taught Dad how to play ball!