Monday, March 15, 2010

Games Abby Played: Part III

Another fun activity inside for Abby was what I call ‘chasing games’. Sometimes Abby would chase me while other times I would chase her. I wouldn’t actually chase her since she was faster than me; instead I led her on into thinking that I was going to chase her. My mom frowned on this type of play, after all, who would want a 200 plus pound man romping around in her home with a dog in tow?

I can think of a couple of ways I could get Abby to start chasing me. The first way was to stand at a distance, call her name and take off running. This wasn’t very subtle, but it worked. Since Abby was always faster than me, she always won this game, no matter how much of a head start I gave myself, but I did have some advantages such was when she had to round a corner on a hardwood floor, which she had to slow down for, more so than me. Also, there was a ‘loop’ that we would go around which consisted of the living room, den, kitchen, dining room and foyer. If I was far enough away from Abby, I could change directions which would throw her off a bit and give me a little more time, but eventually, she always caught me. Abby always took the bait and she always won.

The more subtle method to get Abby to chase me was to catch her by surprise when we were walking somewhere in the house. Abby, when she was a puppy, would always follow me around the house. When I would round a corner, she would be mindlessly sauntering behind me, and that is when I would make my move. The moment I had rounded the corner, I would pick up the pace but doing so as quietly as I could. By the time Abby had rounded the corner and saw that I had created quite a gap between us, she would start to hustle down the hall and that is when I would start to run myself. Of course she would eventually catch up, but the chase and the surprise element excited her. She bored easily, so keeping her interested was necessary to keep her from moping.

Like I said earlier, I really didn’t chase her. I only led her to believe that I was going to chase her, and that was plenty of fun for her. The best way to get her going was to say “I’m going to get a little girl.” The cadence, tone and emphasis on the right words were important to effectively carry out this scheme. She would crouch down, start to growl, and the moment the word ‘girl’ was uttered, she would go berserk. She would take off running into the dining room, around the table, back into the living room and to the foyer where she would turn around and come back for more. All I had to do from there is keep telling her I was going to get a little girl, reach my hands out menacingly and swat at her rump. She would dodge my hands, scoot by and continue running. This would provide for several minutes of entertainment for her. My mom didn’t mind so much when Abby was the only one running, since she thought it was cute. Father idly stood bye, perplexed at the whole situation.

As Abby grew older, she would still respond to “I’m going to get a little girl”, but she would not run around like in her younger days. She would grow visibly agitated and would bark on-cue after I said the word ‘girl.’

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