Sunday afternoon, I sat at the computer to write a column. My cold Pepsi sat close at hand and Larry was still outside in the gloaming. Now that’s a nice word, don’t you think? The gloaming . . . . The quiet house enticed me to write. My computer is defunct so I squirmed to get comfortable in Larry’s chair in his office, placed my fingers on the keys just the way Mrs. Dickens taught me back in high school, and Charlie came barreling through the door, bouncing, and telling me to take him outside. It was time, according to his biological clock, to play ball.
Charlie is our sleek, beautiful black lab, who thinks the only purpose for living is to chase his yellow tennis ball around hour after hour and day after day. Every one who enters this house comes solely to play ball with him and we who live here, his personal staff, must play with him when no one is visiting. We play early in the morning or late in the afternoon because he wears a fur coat year round, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s been a bit hot recently. If we try to play outside any other time, he chases the ball twice and heads for the back door. That’s enough for a black dog in high summer.
We do play ball in the house sometimes, being careful to avoid the giant jar of seashells and the candleholders sitting here and there. Rather, I’m careful. Charlie’s only careful to catch the ball and if he must run over a few objects, he doesn’t mind at all.
Charlie is quite persistent, so I rise to take him out. The computer will wait for me, but Charlie won’t, not patiently anyway. We head for the backdoor and I hook him to his long tether to play. We desperately need a fence to protect our animals since we live on Buck Head Raceway. In the meantime, we play ball with him on a long tether.
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