Jackson's always right, of course. A play break at any time is a good mental health strategy. This is as it should be.
|The iFetch, a device that throws balls for|
dogs so you don't have to.
Many times, the game involves fetching a toy, wrestling Jackson for the toy, chasing Jackson around to retrieve the toy. It can be exhausting, but it's always fun.
Some people find all this play with dogs inconvenient or tiresome, however. For those people there's what I believe a new, disheartening gadget for sale on line.
It's called iFetch, a device that throws a ball for a dog to play with so you don't have to.
Of course, Fido must be trained to put the ball back in iFetch for it to be thrown again, but to me, that's the least of its problems.
The thing also looks a bit like a bizarre little toilet, but I'll let that little problem go, too.
Here's the issue: Why do you have a dog if you won't play with him or her? Granted nobody can always drop everything and devote every waking minute to keeping the dog happy and occupied. But jeez, taking five minutes out of your busy day now and again to engage the dog -- How hard is that?
Of course, I don't know what goes on inside the mind of a dog, but I'd bet my next paycheck that part of the appeal of playing for a dog is interacting with another being. That could be another dog, or a person.
I know my Jackson seems much happier when there are other dogs or people around. That seems true for most dogs. That's why so many of them get separation anxiety when left alone too much.
I'm sure many dogs would happily chase a ball thrown by a machine like iFetch. But they'd be more happy if a person threw it.
|Jackson the cocker spaniel playing |
with a stick last winter. I don't know how
many times I threw that damn stick (happily) for him
And doesn't throwing a ball for a dog to chase make people happy, too? Many times, Jackson has "told" me I must play with him, now.
Sometimes, I don't feel like playing with him. I'm in a bad mood. But I do it anyway, figuring it's not Jackson's fault that I'm in a crummy state of mind.
Within minutes, after Jackson has run around and I have too, I'm in a better mood. Jackson's a cheap psychotherapist, let me tell you. Instead of forking over big bucks to a psychiatrist, I just pay Jackson in dog good and doggy snacks.
Almost every dog is a good psychotherapist. So, while iFetch is a great idea, I don't know how far it will go. Just give us a battered old tennis ball, and humans like me will have the firepower to launch the ball and send our dogs gleefully running.