A retriever to the core.

                          A moment of rest but she is always ready with her prized possession. 

So how was your weekend?  We had a nice weekend, busy but nice.  Before the weekend on Friday morning Elsa had a play date with one of her best friends, Lucy.  I'll have pics tomorrow of that; Lucy is a beautiful Golden Retriever; Elsa loves her and was so excited to have her over.  Saturday Elsa and I headed over to a fenced field for some much needed chuck-it fun; then Luke and I did the "stop and smell the roses" walk. 

Chuck-it is probably one of Elsa's absolute favorite activities.  But as a high speed activity it is short lived; we don't chuck-it till she drops.  Instead we follow the "short and sweet" rule that I follow for my own work outs.  High intensity workout for a short amount of time.  It does not take Elsa long to get an amazing workout while doing her chuck it.  If you can throw that thing really well; it is truly amazing how far it goes.   Without it, I throw like a girl, pathetic really.  But armed with a chuck it and some muscle; that thing flies.  I love it and so does Elsa. 

But the retrieving doesn't stop there.  Miss Elsa is a retriever to the core.  Diehard retriever is what I'd have to describe her as.  No retriever we've met can keep up with her; nor do any have the drive that she does.  Of course Tilley would have given her a run for her money; more than likely out retrieving her with her ability to turn on a dime.  Tilley had a more compact body than Elsa does and was faster than her.  Most dogs who join us for fun soon learn to just stand and watch as Elsa does her stuff.

So the retrieving continues at home; albeit on a smaller scale.  Air tosses for catching and wall bouncing are a few other "ball" games that Elsa loves.  By far, the tennis ball is the absolute favorite object to retrieve and her new large sized Kong balls are prize possessions.   With Elsa's drive so high we limit access to the ball.  Plus if she is left with her balls for too long; she tends to strip them of their furry coat, if no one is tossing them for her.  Home retrieval is an allotted activity; the ball sits in a resting place until called upon.  I can often see Elsa sitting, staring at the lonely ball up on the shelf but it doesn't come off until I say that it comes off. 

The decision to play ball is always mine.  I know that once the ball comes down the retrieving will begin and not end until it is once again put up and away.  No matter where I am, Elsa will follow and she will continue to retrieve the ball.  It will be placed on my lap, in my weed bucket, Luke's head, someone else's lap or wherever it needs to be placed to be thrown.  She is amazing in her dedication.  She loves the chase but even more so, the catch.  It is all about the catch; preferably done on the first bounce. The power behind her back legs as she takes off is unbelievable and depending on the surface where she is taking off from, often sent flying. 

It mystifies me that the Standard Poodle is in the Non-sporting group.  Anyone who has ever lived with one knows that nothing could be further from the truth.  No doubt the only thing that landed them in this group is the "show hair" that they have to sport.  The Standard Poodle is a sporting dog in ever sense of the term, they are pretty much up for any activity.  Of course they are all different, even within the group, so some are more sporty than others.  I happen to have a very sporty girl who fits me to a tee.  Game on.