A Retriever of Sorts

Because Cabana started out as a guide dog puppy, she wasn't allowed to play with balls for the first year of her life. Having a guide dog that is distracted by balls could jeopardize someone's life, so balls of all kinds were strictly forbidden. After Cabana was career changed, though, we tried to get her to retrieve balls, but she showed zero interest.

There's not much that's more embarrassing than throwing the ball for your dog to fetch, only to have her sit in the grass, looking at you bewildered--and then YOU have to trudge through the field and get the dang-blasted ball yourself. Now, after almost a year and a half, Cabana can be coaxed to retrieve the ball--but ONLY if no other dogs are around and if there's a treat reward after every fetch. (Food motivated is Cabana's middle name.)

on a big green field, cabana is in a sideways stance as my husband gets ready to throw a blue ball with the chuck-it toolHere Cabana gets ready for the toss.

cabana returning with blue ball in her mouth, ears are in mid flounce so they look curled, her front paws are stretched out in a prancing runShe looks pleased with herself as she jauntily brings the ball back. Don't Cabana's ears look like curly pigtails in this photo? Makes me think of Cindy Brady.

cabana spitting out the blue ball, her tongue is lolling out, her ears are very low on her head like she's tired, it's sort of an awfully unflattering photo of her"Blah," she says as she releases the ball, "This retrieving is hard work!"

cabana gets a chest pat from my husband's arm, she stands and waits for reward with her mouth slightly open in a tired but happy smileGood job, Cabana! "Dad, where's my kibble reward?" For some dogs, the game is reward enough--but I don't know if that will ever be the case for Cabana.

Update on Seamus/Buster: Seamus' new mom brought him to the shelter on Saturday for a training session. Seamus definitely remembered me and jumped all over me in excitement. His coat has gotten much softer (thanks to good food mixed with yogurt, according to the new mom), and he seems to be doing really well. The family lives in a cul-de-sac, so he hangs out with the twin girls while they ride their bicycles. When the girls fall down or get hurt, Seamus licks them to make them feel better. He has learned how to open their guinea pig cage, so the new mom says with greatly feigned sadness, "Oh well, girls, I guess we might have to re-home the guinea pig." Poor guinea pig, but I admit I'd choose Seamus over a guinea pig any day.

And Nicole, now that I know who Buster Posey is, I am aware that he got hurt. See, I'm not a total loss, right?

Mango  – (May 30, 2011 at 7:05 AM)  

That reminds me of my service dog pal at agilities who has trouble with the course because he doesn't want to leave his mom's side. She has some sort of sickies, but we have been too polite to ask what. Sometimes one of the other mom's takes him on the course so that he can relax and really enjoy himself.

Tennis ball ROCKS! Enjoy!


Kari in WeHo  – (May 30, 2011 at 8:44 AM)  

Baily only brings the ball back half way :)


OSU 98  – (May 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM)  

Haha Mimi, no, you are not a total loss. I tell you one thing...I could have done with ESPN replaying the injury about 1000 times less than they did.

Cabana is precious. I do love her Cindy Brady ears. Her yellow lab cousin in this part of the world is NEEDY today. He has already been on a walk, gotten a PB jar, has been hosed off and has played in the sprinklers - and is still NEEDY! He was helping my type...wanted to say hi to you and Princess Cabana. :)

Tessa99999  – (May 30, 2011 at 1:45 PM)  

I find it kind of funny that Cabana doesn't like retrieving. It makes sense I guess if she was never allowed to when she was young. We have a lab mix that doesn't retrieve either; Addie is a pro at it though (if your forget the whole refusing to drop it unless you have another ball ready).

Amber-Mae  – (May 31, 2011 at 3:11 AM)  

Good to know Cabana's beginning to have a liking for balls. I did not like them before when I was much much much younger but after that, I LOVED those round bouncy things! I live & breath for them!!

Carrie and Waffle  – (May 31, 2011 at 6:55 PM)  

Cabana, Waffle feels you... unless it is her jolly ball or her kong, she looks at me like you threw it... you go get it.
strange kids.

Becky  – (June 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM)  

Love the description -- Cindy Brady ears. Super cute, Cabana.

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