Saturday, March 18, 2006

Playing chase

I was watching the dogs run around the place this morning and I realized that they play "chase" just like we used to do in elementary school. There's the "Duck and Doge" maneuver, where you get the other guy to come strong at you while you stand still, then at the last moment you twist your body around, ducking your head down, and slip by and past him. He has to screech to a halt and come back your way, but of course by then you've got a lead.

There's the "Titanic Gambit", where when somone gets too close, you brush them off by ramming them into somone else who's standing still. The resulting pileup gives you a chance to scamper off and has the added advantage of enraging and engaging an innocent bystander, which is always a plus. For the dogs the role of the glacier in the "Titanic Gambit" is usually Flash the Shiloh, for whom the word "lumbering" was seemingly invented.

Of course you can't play "chase" without a home base, where you could holler "Safe!" and be free from harassment for a bit. For us it was usually a teacher, which worked because no one wants to make the adults mad for fear they'll cancel the game. At our place this morning, of course, I was the closest thing to a grown-up (Annie was out of town), so I becamse base. Sadly, dogs don't stop as well as children -- there's nothing like having five big dog bodies flinging themselves at your legs while you're walking. The only one who didn't feel "safe" was me.

When all else fails, of course, and the other guy is whipping your butt, you have to go hide somewhere. For me as a kid it was the top of the monkey bars -- it was hard for the bigger kids to get to and I still had a great view and an escape route. For the dogs, it's under the porch for much the same reasons. Unfortunately, Radar the border collie discovered today that Ashley the foster-dog-Shepherd can fit under the porch, too.

Looks like it's time for a new hiding place.

Then recess time is over and everyone comes flying back, panting and flushed with exertion, chests heaving with joy and the need for air. After the snacks pass out, so do the little chasers, flopping down on the nearest mat for a well-deserved nap.

Which sounds like a pretty good idea to me, too. Now where did I put that blankie ... ?

1 comment:

Denise said...

Life is definitely a lot slower out in the country, isn't it Jeff! I used to watch my kids play tag, too... sigh... (wistfully)... yes, it seems like just yesterday Stephen was running after Chris with a huge stick in his hand and then, once catching said little brother, beat the snot out of him, but not before Chris got a hand full of hair and kneed said brother in the crotch. Ah yes, those fun, fun days of childhood.