Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fun in the Sun

Who's a happy dog?
I took Ebon out to play this morning and I though I would do a sort of diary entry about it.

For those who haven't read the first post on this blog,  Ebon is a Labrador Retriever from field stock, also sometimes called an "American" lab (I don't like that terminology because dogs from America come in both the "English" show type and the "American" field type). He is nearly 27 inches at the withers and weighs about 85 pounds.

Ebon will do anything for a tennis ball. It's absolutely his favorite toy by far, and we have a ball chucker to help fling them further. He loves it, and if you have a dog that is a lover of tennis balls like Ebon, I highly recommend it. The special balls you can get for them are pretty nifty. Ebon seems to really like The Whistler, but a regular tennis ball does just fine.

We have a long expanse of yard next to the house, and that is the perfect place to play fetch with him. It's just long enough for me to miss the treeline with the chucker, and there's a handy shade tree that he can rest under. We used to have a kiddy pool for him, but it cracked over the winter and we haven't had a chance to replace it yet.

Throw it, throw it!
And he's off!
We don't have a fence, but Ebon's recall is great. The only times that he won't come when called are when he has to potty, to say hello if a person actually enters our yard, or he runs off to chase a small mammal (usually rabbits). He's never caught one, but it seems that he just can't stop himself. If someone walks or drives by, he doesn't really seem to care, especially if I have a ball in my hand!

Glug, glug, slurp, splash...
Unfortunately, it was exceptionally hot today, so we only played for about five or ten minutes before he was panting awfully hard and I took him inside to cool of. He went through his usual cooling down sequence: drink water, dribble it onto the floor, lay in own drool on cool tile floor, pant for a minute. Repeat until cool. I'll be taking him out again later when it's not so hot.

By the way, if you're curious, Ebon's collar is a nylon no-slip collar modeled after the martingale collars used on sighthounds.  It's, frankly, the best collar I've ever used on a dog and is necessary because he has a small head for a Labrador, a common sight in field lines. It is not a choker collar and in fact when fully closed has the recommended two-finger gap, but when loose it fits him more comfortably than any other collar I have tried on him (which were either too snug or would basically fall off him).

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