Flat Footballs

About six months ago our ranch family began to grow exponentially.

First Cole rescued GoodGirl to ease the pain of Scout passing away. Weeks later SchnauzerOne and ChiuyTwo found their new home here as well. I’m no hater, but I’ve never been a huge fan of “yappy dogs.” Familiar with both breeds I was reluctant to take them on.  Still, their person suddenly passed away. I couldn’t refuse the older dogs any more than Cole could. Who knew they’d win me over – and so quickly?

So months later, the dogs and I spent the first weekend alone together in months. It had been over a week since all three dogs accompanied me through outdoor chores. As usual, I kicked a toy around for them as I moved hoses, checked sprinklers and topped the water tanks.

After the second fracas over the toy I crated the dogs to calm them. Once calm, I released them one by one and then ran them hard around the grassy yards. Having them “take a lap” worked well to help my adolescent boys sharpen their perspectives (and attitudes) – some things just don’t change.

I also added another (very flat) ball to the arsenal, allowing each dog a favored toy. Soon I noticed ChiuyTwo isn’t as interested in chasing the ball as she likes being drug from it (how I wish I could have captured that shot). SchnauzerOne doesn’t care as much about the ball as he loves the chase, and GoodGirl is passionate about playing Keep Away.

Soon we had a Football-Futbol game.

Before long endorphins rocketed through all three dogs till none actually cared who had which ball – if there was a ball in play at all! I added a gentle sprinkler and the excitement was off the charts.

Later while listening to reports about the immigration situation I reflected upon the Football Fireworks. All three of these dogs were in dire situations when they came to the ranch. They all needed a safe place to get their heads around what had happened in their individual lives, recuperate, and then make the best of it all. All three are confused about who they are now, what they want, and yet we all want to enjoy our home.

Sure, many other tasks awaited my full attention that day and I could have simply crated the dogs and ignored them. But these dogs are usually great companions and they sometimes help with the chores.

It wasn’t easy. It often isn’t. And yet we found a way to not only make the morning nice, but enjoy each other’s company the rest of the weekend.

I may be simple and unsophisticated, but I wonder if we could all learn some new tricks from flat footballs.

Happy Birthday America!


“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17, 18 (NLT)



Filed under Notes from the Apex

15 responses to “Flat Footballs

  1. Pingback: Retired. Right? | What's Next: Behind Roo's Ruse

  2. Pingback: Down Time | What Next: Behind Roo's Ruse

  3. I love the sight of tuckered out pups after a good day of hard fun. What you said about their being confused, trying to figure out the who and why of where they are, certainly rings true for our old girl too. She has only ever known desert living, so this soft green grass and oh-so-many new things to sniff! (I can’t imagine she’ll think of her first snow!)
    Though I’m reading this well past the fourth, I appreciate your sentiments very much. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am delighted (and flattered) to see you’re already caught up this far, Christi. I’m very impressed. With your insight and some tender, loving patience I imagine you will lead your girl through the transition smoothly. One step at a time, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know how to handle dogs, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not really, Anne. I handle the dogs pretty much the same way I did my kids during the pre-teen and teen years. Just like their dad and their uncles, the brothers could be very volatile and fights often erupted. Dogs are easier to understand and handle. ❤


  5. Happy 4th to you and AMEN about what you said in your post! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. One can only hope, my friend. Our rescue Bridget is now having a good rug rub after a welcome bath out in the 100+ degree heat. Her fur is white again and life is good.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love that sentiment. Thank goodness the pups found their new home with you. I am reading Bruce Cameron’s “A Dog’s Purpose”–stories through the eyes of dogs–so I’m definitely into thinking like our canine friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy 4th sweetie! Yes, we could learn!

    Liked by 2 people

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