It was in July 2017 that my two-legses committed the unthinkable sin of losing The Ball. Not just any ball… I have many in my toy box… but The Ball. The One. The Special Ball. I’d had that ball a long time and knew its every scent, curve and puncture. Granted, they searched for it diligently. They called in the cavalry so my boy came to help too… they even climbed the fence into the cow field and moved all the undergrowth… they found it not.
I went into mourning while she wrote about it… we all cope with loss in our own way.
It took me a week to have the heart to even look at another ball, but she was starting to panic a bit when I wouldn’t play and all I could do was mope. Not that I really wanted her to feel too much better about the situation… I was still hoping my ball would come back. But there is only so much of ‘worried two-legs’ I can stand, you know? Not that it stopped there. She thought I’d relented and accepted a new Ball when I caught one… but it was just a ball after all… nothing special.
‘Special’ takes time, love and togetherness.
It was another month before I felt able to actually choose another one of the many balls everyone offered. The one that would, eventually, become The Ball. It would take months, lots of grooming, games and cuddles, but one day it would feel right, smell right… be The Ball.
Because, The Ball isn’t just a ball… as they wrote in one of their books, it is Love… and although Love is right at the heart of what we are, ‘specially dogs, you have to give yourself to it before it comes back to you.
I have that Ball still… three and a half years later…
Or, what is left of it.
And that’s the problem. There isn’t much. The fluffy green outside opened its heart long ago. The rubbery bit inside fractured into pieces, held together only by the fluff. It has not rolled or bounced for over a year and it looks more like flattened roadkill than a ball.
She tried putting a new ball inside it, to give it shape, make it throwable and pick up the scent of The Ball… It didn’t really work and she can’t think of anything she can do to stop the inevitable.
She is worried that I will mourn for even longer. That I’ll go into a decline and not eat or play or smile again, like last time. Because it is The Ball… and I’ve never had one quite this long… and when it finally dies of being loved, what am I going to do?!
I mean, I know I’ll get plenty of cuddles and sympathy… but that won’t bring the ball back, will it? And if I get all upset, so will my two-lesges. And then that will upset me even more…
I suppose this is what she is means when she starts talking about non-attachment… not being dependant on anything to define us or to ‘make us happy’. But… it is The Ball!
So, if anyone can think of a way to magically mend my ball before it disintegrates, that would be cool.
P. S. To all my friends, furred, feathered, scaled… or even two-legses! Don’t forget to send me your stories, poems and pics… or your letters to Santa… for this year’s ADVENT CALENDAR.