The second K9 “Boot” Kamp challenge was much harder than the first. We went from a relaxing jog up a steep hill to all of a sudden racing our dogs to a tennis ball. I feel like I missed a step somewhere. I definitely feel misled. This isn’t a challenge for humans and their dogs. It’s an opportunity for dogs to make their humans look utterly ridiculous.
The bad news is: we lost the tennis ball. The good news is: Shiva’s recall has improved greatly in the last year. Our lack of a fenced yard required us to take a risk and play this game in a public park. A very distracting environment for the canine part of the team. The evening was cool and rainy so I hoped that meant we’d have the place to ourselves. Naturally, a nice-looking student had to turn the corner just as I threw the tennis ball, camera poised in front of my face. The ridiculousness of my appearance did not escape me. At least Shiva chose to come back to me instead of running in circles around the poor kid. I was saved that horrific level of embarrassment.
I don’t know how the others fared, but not once did I beat Shiva to the ball. Not even when I gave myself a gigantic head start. Not even when I wrapped the ball in a discarded pepperoni wrapper, thinking it would distract her. Not even when I threw a treat in the other direction. She somehow managed to chase the treat, find it in the grass, eat it, and still make it to the tennis ball before I did.
Since her retrieve outdoors isn’t as strong as her recall, she didn’t do a whole lot of actual fetching. She would blast ahead of me, grab the ball, and then run in large circles around the park. That’s when I tried to use my “superior” intellect and called her back while running in the opposite direction, trying to incite Shiva to chase me for a change. My trick worked but she frequently dropped the ball in the process. We managed to find it again for several more throws but eventually it was lost to the wilds.
Fortunately, Shiva loves searching for things almost as much as she loves making me look like an idiot.
As punishment for losing the race every single time, Shiva made me run up more hills on the way home. What did I do to deserve this dog? She makes Jillian Michaels look like a sweetheart.