Indie’s tennis ball relocation service

Indie with tennis ball

As anyone can see by looking at this photograph, Indie* just loves tennis balls.

Except it’s a lie. Indie is not a retriever. She finds tennis balls thoroughly engrossing for perhaps 20 seconds. Then she casts them aside and goes looking for squirrels, or sniffing at interesting smells.

Indie is a hunter and a sniffer. But tennis balls are among the things she sniffs out.

The local park, where dogs are allowed to run off the leash, also has two tennis courts. Between tennis players who’ve lost their balls (hmmmm… there must be a better way to say that) and dogs who’ve lost their balls (nope — I can’t think of any) — well, let’s just say there are a lot of stray balls lying around.

Tennis balls, I mean.

So finding a tennis ball in the dog park isn’t such a remarkable trick. But one day, as we were walking through the neighbourhood, Indie started sniffing at someone’s lawn. She appeared to be tracking something — a small animal, presumably — with her nose scanning back and forth as she walked forward, tugging at the leash. Right over to a hosta plant —


— whence she pulled out a tennis ball. You already guessed as much, but it came as quite a surprise to me.

This morning, Indie pulled off an equally impressive trick:  she ducked her snout down into a snow bank and pulled out a buried tennis ball. Like Little Jack Horner doing that trick of his with the Christmas pie and the plum.

Smelling a tennis ball through a layer of snow is a pretty neat trick, I think.

Once Indie finds a tennis ball, she carries it proudly for the next twenty seconds or so. Just long enough to show it off a little. Maybe even as far as the next block where — ptooey! — she will spit it onto some stranger’s lawn.

“Indie’s tennis ball relocation service”, I call it. Kind of like a random act of kindness:  wake up one morning, step out onto the porch to collect your newspaper, and spy the tennis ball in your yard.

“But I don’t own a tennis ball,” you think to yourself.

You do now! Merry Christmas, ho-ho-ho!

It’s too bad there’s no money in tennis ball relocation. If only there were, I’d have a very valuable dog on my hands.


*I first introduced Indie a couple of months ago, with a different name:  Aero. That’s the name the Humane Society had given her.

“Indie” is my little joke:  it’s short for “indefatigable”, because it has proven impossible to tire this dog out.

Alternatively, the name evokes independent “indie” music; or the Indianapolis “Indy” 500 race; or Indiana “Indie” Jones. Take your pick:  I like pet names that have multiple referents.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zayna
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 14:27:37

    What a great trick! Amazing that she could find them even through the snow.

    Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!


  2. Stephen
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 15:48:39

    Thanks, Zayna. And the same to you!


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