Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Andy Plays Fetch in the Condo

For Andy, my condo must have seemed like a romper room. I knew he loved to play and facilitated his playfulness by buying many, many toys. Andy was 4 when I bought my place and was in the prime of his life. He was fit and had a high energy level. He did like to take naps, but once he was awake, he would go all out balls-to-wall. Abby was 6. She wasn’t nearly as active as Andy. She did love going on the walks required in condo living. At a home, if a dog has to go to the bathroom, we would open the back door to let the dogs out and they would take a few steps out, do their business and come right back in. When the babies where at my condo, I would walk them at least 3X per day. We easily walked over a mile a day. For a fat baby like Abby, these walks were essential in Abby’s weight-loss regimen.

Andy did not have a yard to play in. I worried he would lose out in fun time by not being able to run free. However, inside, we compensated by playing fetch. We would have 10 or 15 minute sessions of fetch several times a day. I would throw a toy down the hall. Other times I would throw the toy over the loft on the second floor. Andy quickly learned a new word: upstairs. After I threw the toy upstairs, Andy would look at me with a perplexed face. I would point up and say “Go upstairs.” He soon knew that the toy was upstairs and he would hustle up the stairs. I could hear him ‘boom boom boom’ up. I would soon after hear the characteristic squeak from the toy. Andy loved the squeaky toys. He would chomp down on them just to hear them squeak. Maybe it was his way of signifying victory. Andy would then look over the balcony at me and Abby. I would tell him he was a good boy. Andy would come back down, put the toy on my lap, take a step back and invite me to throw the toy again.

Abby would be sleeping by my feet or at my side when these play sessions took place. Sometimes she would have a rawhide bone to gnaw on. Andy kept playing and playing. For him, I was his big playmate. The mere sight of me brought up ideas of fun and play for him. I enjoyed being able to throw these toys however I damned well pleased without anyone bitching at me telling me to stop. I loved the freedom playing with Andy. I also admired his boundless energy.

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