Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Biting Off More Than He Can Chew

Toby loves sticks. When we take him the forest park, he will chase a stick just about anywhere. He'll leap into water without much thought about how deep it might be. His focus is entirely on the stick.

I like throwing a stick into a pile of other sticks. Toby always comes back with the original stick. He will accept no substitutes. "Close enough for government work" is not part of Toby's vocabulary.

When Toby retrieves a stick, he's the King of the World. He prances with joy and pride. He's accomplished his mission and he knows it.

Toby especially loves large sticks. I'm talking about tree trunks, fence posts, and two-by-fours. He has a little routine that he goes through to get a handle on a large stick.

By lucky coincidence, I found small tree trunks from the landlord's hedge trimming project on the same day I learned how to use the video feature on my phone. So I dragged one out of the thicket behind the garage and put it on the grass. Then I let Toby outside and watched the magic happen.

(Just a warning, I need to work on my video skills. I'm trying to figure out how to rotate the clip so you won't have to turn your computer sideways to watch, but I haven't cracked it yet.)

First, he sizes up the task:

Then, he has a few 'words':

At last, success:



At 26 August 2008 at 17:51, Blogger koehmstedt said...

That is great! Two of my dogs talk, too, it's always hysterical.

At 26 August 2008 at 23:12, Blogger Babaloo said...

I nearly wet myself! Toby is fantastic! I think we need to send Honey over for a crash course in how to handle big "sticks". She loves the smaller variety but won't retrieve them. She just runs and prances around with them for a bit, then flops down on the ground to chew it to pieces.

At 27 August 2008 at 02:48, Blogger SwampAngel65 said...

Toby is so cute and very persistant! I wonder what he was telling that log...?

At 27 August 2008 at 07:50, Blogger -Ann said...

Carrie - Yeah, Toby is hours of entertainment.

Babaloo - Ha! Glad you enjoyed the videos.

Swampangel - I wonder about that too. Some of the noises are the same ones that he makes when he's 'talking' to Peter's mini RC helicopters (which Toby hates). I think it's something along the lines of 'I'm gonna git you, sucker.' :)

At 27 August 2008 at 10:49, Anonymous Eve said...

Thats quite a big stick. I enjoy spending time with my dog tooo:)

At 27 August 2008 at 12:53, Blogger laurie said...

what a great dog! my toby was obsessed with tennis balls in the same way. (but he never had to struggle with them.)

btw, as far as i know you can't rotate the clip. you have to shoot all videos horizontal. can't turn the camera vertical.

At 27 August 2008 at 17:21, Blogger Patience-please said...

What a fun post! Left me smiling, and my dogs jumping around the computer.

At 27 August 2008 at 21:52, Anonymous Amy P said...

OMG! That is brilliant!!!

At 28 August 2008 at 03:02, Blogger Irene said...

Good old Toby! Persistence paid off. Jekser would never do such a thing. Actually, he is kind of boring that way.

At 28 August 2008 at 15:39, Blogger Kaycie said...

Toby is awesome. It reminds me of a dog we used to have. One year we put the undecorated, quite dried out Christmas tree in the back yard thinking we'd haul it off on the weekend. Yance had tugged, dragged, and chewed on it so much, that the trunk was all that was left. That dog would chew firewood and the trim on the house if you let him.

At 28 August 2008 at 17:15, Blogger -Ann said...

Eve - Dogs are the best!

Laurie - Yeah, I also need to figure out how best to hold the camera. I was holding it horizontally, but I guess vertical is its perferred method of capture.

Patience - Your dogs are all beautiful. I'd love to have a pack someday. :)

Amy - We wouldn't want him to do it too often, since we don't want him to hurt himself, but geez it's amusing.

Irene - Well, Jesker is a bit older than Toby, too I think. And probably much more sensible.

Kaycie - Ha! We're lucky that Toby only chews his toys. And the occasional errant log.


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