Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Art Of War and Fetch - View From A Pup

Hello. I am the Hinter pup: Orchid (Princess Orchid Jane Isabelle Mary The Rut Killer according to my official pedigree documents). 

I love this family, and I'm pretty sure they love me, too because not only do they feed me, pet me and let me lay on the back of the couch like a cat, they do fun things with me like play fetch. 

However, while my family understands the depth of my joy in fetch, casual passers-by often just pass it off as "burning off energy" or make uninformed comments like, "it's cute when she growls when she catches it".

Therefore, as a PSA, I feel I need to walk you through the Art of Fetch to fully appreciate how deeply  impactful this activity is.

The Art of War Fetch

Anticipate The Moment
I am most happy in this position. You can't see the quivering in the picture but my mouth anticipates sinking into the object of my a-fetch-tion (don't groan...I'm a dog...puns are our love language). My paws are so stinking excited that they ever so slightly twitch waiting for Fetch to begin.
(click for larger, and more awesome pics)

Trust Your Companion
When he says "Go", I run...knowing that the ball or frisbee is on its way. We trust each other like that. It's like a dance...he knows my strengths, weaknesses, and skills. He lets me get a head start so I can catch it mid-air.

Fun and Serious Are Not Mutually Exclusive
Now, while I love playing, fetch is serious business! I don't have time to joke around. I've got 10-12 summers of fetch in me, and I can't take even one single session for granted. Every throw, every grab, every "Good Girl!" deepens my joy in life.

That's why I go from fun-loving "Princess Orchid Jane" you see here...

To "Wild-eyed-Orchid-Jane-The-Rut-Killer" here.

As you see, this is serious business, but in a crazy-fun "I freaking love this life!" kind of way.

Follow Your Instincts
In these moments I am "All In". Focused. Unwavering. Not to scare the children, but something from my ancient past boils up from my recessed DNA and I swear I can hear the pack lead howling "Take it down! Take it down!". Nothing can get in my way...

Go For The Kill
It's at this point I can nearly taste the fuzz...and hear the li'l green warrior scream for mercy as it bounces away quickly...but not quickly enough. Although, as evidence below, maybe the ball loves fetch just as much as I do? The ball is fulfilling its purpose and you can actually see it smile as it finishes its job (which is, of course, to be captured by a slobbery, wet-nosed opponent).

It seems we have something in common...the more we are being productive doing what we love, the happier we are.

It's in this moment that I wrap my jaws around my opponent, and with deep satisfaction, capture my prey. Those around me hear an intense growl...a guttural homage to my ancient ancestors (You should have heard me growl fetching at 3 months old...while my goal was sinister awe and an echo of past warriors, my family laughed. I first got back at them by peeing in a corner, but then I realized what all princess warriors realize in the Art of Fetch: I can use my cuteness to my advantage and now I am trusted, loved, well petted, and have companions for life. Hoo-Rah!)

In the end I show respect that it was a good-fought battle and even in victory I must be humble.  I wag my floofy tail as a victor waves a flag.

Live to Fetch Another Day
As I bound across the horizon,  another fetch session comes to a close. I am exhausted, full of joy, and feel closer to this human than ever. We walk together, hang it up for the day, and enjoy a long, cold drink.

Some day will be my last day of fetch. I know that. He knows that. That's just how it works. That's why we cherish each throw.

Until then, if you see me in the act of fetch, know that while I'm fiercely zoning in on my prey, and fiercely growling when I catch it, inside I'm feeling quite different. Inside I'm shouting...


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