Ball obsessed dogs and Phantom pregnancies

Today I am in sympathy for my dog. She is not herself. Normally she goes mad over round objects that roll around – basically balls of any size: golf balls, tennis balls, squash balls, foot balls etc. There is no limit to the size of ball that she is attracted to. Perhaps the biggest ball I have ever seen her get excited about is a huuge gym ball. I was borrowing it from my stepmum to use in preparation for child birth and as I went to get it out of the boot she went absolutely crazy and virtually nudged it out of my hands before I had a chance to lower it to the ground. As soon as she had possession she was off with it dribbling it down our drive at full speed. It was an hysterical sight seeing this tiny jack russell behind this gigantic grey boingy ball.

Her obsession with balls stems back to when my mum gave her a treat ball when she was a puppy.The ball is filled with treats and then there is a hole (that is adjustable to alter the level of difficulty and for when you want your dog to be occupied for something longer than 5 seconds). The hole is filled with treats, the hole is reduced in size and then as the dog rolls it around the floor they are rewarded with a treat every now and then.

It has been a long time since she has used the treat ball but since a puppy she now treats every ball like a treat ball and is never discouraged by the fact that treats are not forthcoming. It has, in fact, trained her to be an excellent dribbler (not from the mouth) – maybe a similar training technique should be applied to footballers – they might keep possession a bit longer if every few yards the ball drops a mars bar or a WAGs pair of knickers, whatever takes their fancy.

I thought that her head might explode when my husband (who takes her to work with him in his lorry) had a job at a driving range. There were golf balls as far as the eye could see. We were a bit naughty to entice her by saying ‘Where’s the ball?” to her which is the command for her to sniff one out – the poor girl didn’t know where to start – she had steam coming out of her ears.

But at the moment we miss our ball crazed jack russell because she is suffering from a phantom pregnancy. Her teats are all engorged, she is mothering one of my daughter’s fluffy toys and won’t leave her bed unless she absolutely has to. To test her change in character I asked her “where’s the ball” and she looked at me like I had asked if she knew where the vet was – she couldnt have cared less, in fact she wanted to be a million miles away from ball play. Hormones have an amazing psychological effect – I have concluded that it is a bitch being a bitch.

I am blogging every day for Unicef in the vain hope that one day someone might offer some support and donate £1 to my Unicef site.

Thanks for reading.

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