Buddy loves his frisbee and tennis balls. The frisbee is a rubber one made by Kong, so that it is soft on his mouth. And it’s smaller, for his small-boy self. He chases it, and sometimes when he picks it up he grabs it in the middle, it folds on itself, and it looks like he has blue lips – like those wax lips of the 60s/70s. (How weird were those?) Or a blue-lipped clown. He probably thinks he’s cool having figured out to pick that frisbee up in the middle. So me thinking he looks a little ridiculous is our little secret. It’s just one more way Buddy makes me laugh.
He’s good at chase, pretty good at bringing it back, and we need to work more on “drop it,” which he knows but doesn’t always want to do. He’s starting to recognize “want me to throw it for you?” and will drop it if the answer is yes. We have a conversational relationship, he and I. If I’m the one up early with him (I usually am), Andy will come down and say – and I quote, from this very morning – “lots of talking going on down here. From one person.”
Really catching an object is a whole other level he’s not quite ready for yet. But I’ve started the training by saying “catch” and getting him to open his mouth and taking the frisbee. It’s soft and thin and I lightly bop his mouth with it while saying catch. After a few times, he has started opening his mouth, anticipating and then grabbing the frisbee. After he started doing that fairly consistently, I tried with the ball, and he opened his mouth wider and grabbed it.
It’s not perfect yet, but it’s a start and I’ll keep repeating this level 1 before I actually start tossing it from a short distance (which might be easier with the ball, since the frisbee is floppy). Koda loved her tennis ball, both chasing and catching it. Buddy loves the chasing; the future will let me know if he loves the catching.