Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Ah, Spring! Deliciously warm weather, sparkling blue skies, rain-scrubbed air. Pollen notwithstanding, these are perfect dog-walking days. Today, we explored Piedmont Park, our city's sprawling urban playground for those who love the great outdoors. The earth is practically vibrating with signs of life. It's a great time for Max to strut his stuff.
He's a baller... tennis baller, that is. Max performs best when people stop to watch him do his thing. He's something of a cross between an outfielder, wide receiver and goalie. Guys especially like his athleticism. So whenever we're playing, he usually attracts an audience. Today was no exception. The first thing people ask is, how long did it take him to learn to do that? My response is always the same... he taught me. I'm the one who's getting better at it.
As Max has aged, he's slowed down a bit... not quite as quick, or precise, and he tires out sooner. What used to take at least an hour to exhaustion, now only takes about 30 minutes. Whatever he lacks in energy, he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. But even at his age, approximately nine years, he's got a lightening fast sprint to the ball, which he can catch on a bounce. He just snags it right out of the air. There's usually some daring acrobatics involved, then the proud strut back to home. I call it "Max-letics."
Fortunately, I discovered the perfect tool to help facilitate his game... it's called the chucker. It's designed especially to launch the ball deep, and there's no messy hands afterward. Today, we caught the attention of a young boy about eight years old who couldn't resist the call to play. He came over to watch and Max lured him in. He caught on to the throw pretty quickly, and before you know it, Max had him trained too.