I have a dog. I have a cat too, but this post is about the dog. Geraldine (that’s the dog) is a Cane Corso, which is fancy for Italian Mastiff. Mastiffs are known for their calm, serious nature.
Geraldine is no exception. She has her playful moments, usually involving chasing some small animal; a lizard, the cat, and she’s especially good at catching flies. For the most part however, Geraldine (let’s call her G to save on keystrokes) saves her enthusiasms for meal times, checking out anyone who comes on the property (she is responsible for security around here after all), charging up and down the lot barking at fireworks, and trying to get me to go get the mail so she can pick up her pmail outside the gate.
This makes her a challenge to play with. Retrieve a ball? Why? Tug-of-war? Tried it once, didn’t care for it. Frisbee? You’re joking, right? Running on the beach? Too much work. Playing in the water? Ewww, it’s wet, I’m not going in there!
Her main recreations are whining at the cat, laying outside in the dirt, laying on the warm concrete, sleeping on the couch and snoozing on the bed.
Once in a while I just have to try to get her fired up. A play signal two-handed slap on the bed might get her to jump up and give me a wag and a lick, but that’s usually followed by a flop onto her side and a nap.
But I have a secret weapon – raspberries. Not the kind that stain your white pants when you dribble the juice in your lap (I’m not the only one, am I?). The kind that produce a rude sound when you press your lips together and blow through them.
Want to see an 85 pound dog leap 3 feet straight up and turn 360 in the air from a horizontal position? Gently rub her tummy and while she is enjoying the sensation, lean over and blow raspberries (be quick) on that same tummy. Then DUCK! The action is instantaneous and impressive. She’s up, she leaps around in about 3 circles on the bed, then flies out into the living room to run figure-eights. Around the coffee table and back to bounce off the bed. She does about three circuits, laughing all the way. Then she charges back, leaps up on the bed and flops onto her side, tail thumping the now thoroughly rumpled bedspread. One eye stays on me because she’s not going to let me catch her like that again. It’s over, for now.
I haven’t done this in a while. Hmmm, I wonder, where’s the dog.
What special games do you play with your pets? I’d love it if you would share them with me.