It feels like there are a lot of rules we’ve internalised as dog owners and sometimes it’s good to question them.
For example, I have mixed feelings about Grace’s love of balls. On the one hand, I hear a voice in my head telling me I’m supposed to remove things that a dog feels strongly about – especially if they are capable of generating obsessive feelings like a ball.
The ball can certainly spark some strong feelings at times and in those moments her pupils are the size of saucers so it’s clear just how much emotional charge they hold. She will also sometimes ask for it if it’s left outside or on the table – but not always.
But overall… it seems like it is mostly a tender kind of love, affection even. Ball is sometimes gently cuddled when having a nap. On walks she sometimes loves just walking with it, sniffing around. It can even be a comfort blanket – at a recent crowded event I actually bought her a squeaky Chuckit ball to carry around because it gave her a job and seemed to relax her.
So, who am I to say she shouldn’t have this in her life?