I've been back from Wisconsin for a few weeks now, but because I'm so busy and I got a lot of fun shots of the dogs there, I still have stories to tell. Today, the subject is fetch.

Now, Buzz will play fetch. He understands the game well enough. However, it is not as much fun as hiking things, so lots of times when Buzz gets the ball, he will hike it a few times before returning it. This is fine by me as it is less work on my end. And let's face it, Buzz is way to social to play flyball (he'd be sailing across those lanes to say hi to all the lovely doggies) so there is no need for him to have a disciplined return. One thing I do wish he’d figure out is to watch where I’m throwing the ball…sometimes he just takes off in a random direction at full speed for no good reason. Really, so many loose screws in that one’s head!

Pete the Pirate is the consummate fetcher. I really do think he’s mostly either a Golden or Labrador Retriever because he lives for that tennis ball! Pete would happily play fetch all day every day. Like Buzz, however, Pete doesn’t watch you throw the ball. Pete just takes off in the direction you last threw it. He’s probably compensating for his eyesight on that one, because if you say his name and point in a different direction he knows to go that way instead.

Ned, who has to stay in his room if Mabel or Buzz is at the house, has no idea what fetch is about. He just runs alongside Pete as Pete fetches. Sometimes Ned takes the ball, but then doesn’t know what to do with it. Then we have to throw a different ball for Pete, but that doesn’t always make Pete happy…he wants to use the same ball the whole game.

Sophie and Castro both kind of fetch. I think Castro knows the game but isn’t always interested and Sophie doesn’t really get it, but likes to join in sometimes.

One day Uncle Scary was playing fetch with all the dogs except Ned (who was locked in his room).

Buzz stopped playing pretty quickly. Maybe because I was far from the action trying to take pictures, maybe because it was an overwhelming amount of barking/running/fetching. Buzz lay down at my feet and started chewing a stick.

Pete was consistently getting the ball. He was cracking me up because the back yard is flat for about 20 feet, but is then quite steep and wooded and Pete comes charging out of the woods with great awkwardness. I even caught it on film when he did a face plant stumbling out of the brush.

I think it was shortly after this that Mabel decided that she’d rather join Buzz in stick chewing than play with the big dogs and their ball.

Eventually the games ended and Mabel got the ball to chew on.

Buzz says “hey, who let the air out of the puppy?”

The next day, I played fetch with just Buzz and Pete and they were pretty evenly matched (Buzz being much faster but less smart about fetch). Buzz was doing his #1 annoying fetch thing, though: he brings the ball most of the way back and then drops it. Now, at home this just means the game is over. I don’t kick the soccer ball unless he brings it to my feet and I don’t throw the tennis ball unless he drops it in my hands. So, consistently, Buzz was bringing the ball to within 4 feet of me and then dropping it. And then we would both stand there. Then darling Pete would swoop in and bring the ball those last few steps and drop it into my hands. That Pete, he’s serious about fetch and he’ll do what it takes to have the ball thrown again!

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