Contingency plan

There was an incident in the park the other day which made me realise that I needed a contingency plan in case of losing Bella’s ball.

It was mid-afternoon and Bella and I just enter Regent’s Park through the gate near Chester Road. We saw a large Labradoodle and its owner playing with a tennis ball in the distance – a familiar sight, so I didn’t think much of it and let Bella off from the leash. As usual, Bella begged me to throw a ball for her and I obliged to her request.

However, the Labradoodle galloped towards us as soon as our ball landed and snatched it from the ground. Bella was only very happy to see another dog and started to dance around it like a butterfly around a luscious bloom. I sent a pleading look to the owner of the “ball-snatcher” and she came over to sort out the situation.

It didn’t work, unfortunately. The harder we tried, the more the dog resisted. While we tempted him with treats and his own ball, this naughty Labradoodle kept us at his paw length, gnawing on Bella’s ball like a chewing gum. I could see the neon orange ball gradually losing its shape through his teeth and saliva. Alas. ‘Never mind our ball. But you make sure that he won’t swallow it.’ I told the embarrassed girl and we walked away.

Then, we moved on to the rugby pitch and looked for a ball we lost a few days ago. Again, exactly like it happened in Hampstead Heath last Sunday, the ball disappeared like magic under the mud and the fallen leaves in the sports field. I combed the ground with the ball launcher and kicked up leaves but failed to find it.

Oh Bay-bay, what can we do?

Out of desperation, I throw the launcher for her…

She went for it but looked a bit confused. Where is my ball?’

Never mind that, Bella. So we continued to play with the launcher…

 

At first, Bella was happy to carry the stick because it was new. She was showing off her new trophy and trotting around with it.

But then, she realised that the launcher didn’t fly very far and it didn’t bounce either…

 

“No! I am not playing with this crap! Where is my BALL?’

Sorry, Bay-Bay, I shall bring a spare ball or a frisbee as our contingency plan next time…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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