I don’t know why the Owner throws the ball. When I take her for her evening Walk she likes to throw it. Of course, I fetch it. I am, after all, a True Dog, in addition to being a Moral Dog. The urge to chase the ball is overwhelming, the joy as its beautiful round brightness bounces across the park almost impossible to describe, the sense of finally catching it, stopping it, seizing it, controlling it…. the Moral Dog can compare such thrills only to cheese. In quantity.
The Owner clearly loves the ball as much as I do, because having thrown it she is always so very desperate to have it back, pleading with me to hurry, suggesting there may even be cheese.
I, of course, run miles, battling all kinds of temptations in order to do as she asks. I pursue the ball, locate the ball, catch the ball, return the ball. When I return it there is petting and fine words about Good Dogs and future cheese. And yet…. the moment she gets it off me she flings it away again, further than ever, before immediately regretting the matter and begging me to return it. And once again I follow the call of the ball.
The Moral Dog is becoming concerned. Is there something wrong with the Owner? She is reaching the point when all she wants to do is throw the ball and have it returned. Is this some human ailment, or is she trapped in a terrible temporal loop, a wrinkle in space and time from which she cannot escape? Either way, I could be here for years. This calls for Superdog.
I confer with my trusty sidekick, Caspar. Caspar blames Pavlov, an unfortunate Owner from some years ago who ended up completely unable to stop ringing his bell, as he had trained himself to ring it whenever his dogs salivated. They did their best not to, but have you ever asked a Doberman not to salivate? It’s like asking a duck not to float.
I do not want my Owner to suffer the fate of Pavlov. It is time to break the cycle. I sit, dignified, as the ball is thrown, fighting the temptation to pursue, overcoming my inner primeval urges with the sheer moral strength of the Moral Dog.
Eventually the Owner retrieves the ball herself. It takes some time as it is in a bush at the bottom of the hill, but I can see that the exercise does her good. Nevertheless, she seems somewhat grumpy. What kind of Moral Dog breaks the beautiful partnership of ball throwing and ball retrieving? She asks. What kind of Moral Dog does not want to retrieve the Ball?
I cannot answer.
I conceal my wounded sensibilities as Superdog would.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.