But that's not often. Well, when she's sleeping she's not working. But other than that, she really is. It's her MO, her modus operandi. Her way of being. She is just this really focused, really intense, really in-it-and-its-a-job-that-I-have-to-do kinda gal.
We work a lot together. My perfect puppy and I. We play ball. Which is a job. The getting of the ball is her purpose in that moment and she is hyper focused. Vigilant. Obsessed with that ball. She's there, body shaking in anticipation, eyes focused on me - which way will I throw it, now or in a few seconds, hard or easy, high or low. She watches my body, sees my stance, observes the curve of my arm and the power in my wrist. And she is off, already ahead of the arc of the ball in light of her anticipation of my movements.
Off and running. Sometimes she catches the ball on the fly. Often after one jump. Just as often missing it completely. And always a deep growl or bark will escape from her. Its as if the power that is generating from her body is so great that sound has to escape from her as well or else she will explode.
And then she is back again. In front of me. Focused and alert for the next ball that I throw. Or she is looking in the grass with me, as we walk the length of the dog park on our tennis ball hunt. Grass and dirt covered tennis balls are hard to find, but we are diligent. We look carefully. And we find them. It is also part of the work. The work of finding the ball. Which she then takes in her mouth for a moment and then, with a small twist in her neck, tosses it back to the ground for me to lift up in my ball-tosser-kind-of-like- the-ChuckIt-thing that you can buy but mine is from Target and only was $5.49.
She never brings me back the ball. She sucks at retrieving. She is so not a retriever. I suppose I could teach her to be. And then retrieving will become part of her job in this game of ball that is her work. But I like it this way. As she waits for my throw. As she flies into the air those times the ball is high and she catches it before it lands in the dirt. As her graceful body compensates for speed and height. Or as she runs, full out across the park, that deep growl escaping.
And the comradeship between us as we ball hunt together.