Note from a Small Dog: Loved to Death

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.

Much love,

Ani xxx

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.


Published by Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:

63 thoughts on “Note from a Small Dog: Loved to Death

  1. I have sewn together squeakers and decimated squirrels and duct-tape ripped balls, but I think perhaps this may be the near end of this ball. Unless you glue the remains on top of another ball so that the smell will remain, even if there’s no “balliness” remaining? It’s not a very practical solution, but it’s about all I can think of. Maybe using a slightly smaller ball as the inner ball? And a LOT of gorilla glue!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Ani… What can we do with your ball?
    I have the same with my Squirrel. My special friend. Suzie. And she disappeared one day.
    I was distraught.
    They all looked and could not find her. In the end, a replacement Suzie was bought, but she wasn’t the same. A cheap, flat imitation.
    Then, about 6 months later, Suzie came back!
    I don’t know where she’d gone, but I’ve looked after her well, since her return.
    I love my Suzie, rather like you love your ball. 💜😽

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Ani! What a dilemma…and what to do about it? I think you are a very bright, astute dog, so give it more thought and accept the inevitable. Just think, some poor, street dogs have never had even one ball! When you realize how lucky you are, you’ll welcome a new one. Take heart. xx.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The poor ball does look like it’s nearing the end, Ani. As a mere two-legs, I can’t fully understand what you must be going through, except that my granddaughter had a toy rabbit she took everywhere. When it vanished she was distraught, just like you. Her child-minder made her a replacement, very similar and she accepted it. It became her loved rabbit, just like the original.
    You must try to accept the inevitable. A new ball will eventually come to be loved just like the old one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, Ani, you will be happy to know that some little two-legs also get very attached to a specific toy and love it regardless of how old it is. My niece, Taylor, has a bunny she has loved since she was born. She is now seven years old. Her mum found her a replacement bunny, exactly the same, but Taylor still loves old Bun-Bun best and keeps new Bun-Bun in the box.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No – that ball-end is what it is and no-one can throw it away until you’ve bonded with another and abandoned it.
    That’s our opinion, anyway (Smidgeon and Ruff). When Pickle was here, Smidge says no balls lasted long enough to bond with, but our two-legs hasn’t thought to try us with another since Pickle died.We like to mangle sticks and lumps of wood, but a ball might be an nice change.
    Two-legs seems fond of our rope toy though, and keeps reuniting its skin and innards. We pull the coiled rope back out of the faux-fox so she can thread it back in again. It keeps her happy.
    Not sure what she’s up to with that needle and thread though.


  7. Ani, I am not sure what is left of that ball can be repaired. I would keep it to sleep with but use another ball for chasing. I know how attached you can get – my son had a blue blanket to which he was glued. We had to cut it in half to wash it – then in quarters, then in eighths – finally he gave it up. I am constantly repairing Garfield’s knitted and stuffed mice.


  8. I completely understand. It took me ages to accept a new ball after The Ball went away, and then my brother ate it. He couldn’t have eaten any other ball. No. He had to eat The Ball. I couldn’t play with another ball for weeks after that. Enjoy that ball for as long as you can, and when it’s finally time to let go, I hope you don’t get too depressed… Try to think of all the chicken or cheese you’ll be missing out on if you go off your food, and hopefully that will help you through the tough time to come. Lots of licks, Lilie


      1. It’s one of the reasons it took me some time to warm up to him. Mummy says it’s only fair, since I ate his cow first (the one she gave him when he was still with his Furmama) but what does she know… She’s only human, and they don’t understand about these things. Besides, it had a squeaker in it, and it’s not my fault the cow fell apart when I was pulling that out. Lots of licks, Lilie


  9. Oh, Ani….I am so sorry. I can’t offer anything but a hug. One day your Beloved will be gone, and it will hurt, but not having had it at all…that would be a tragedy. -super massive hugs-


  10. What a dramatic tale. Like done by Shakespeare! 😉 But its true love, and like The Ball we all are aging too. Maybe you should make friendship with a new one, and let The Ball rest. Best wishes, Michael


  11. Maggie was never one for chasing a ball, unless it belonged to someone else, then she wouldn’t give it back. She loved her babies, tucked them up under her at night and heaven help us is one fell off the bed. All out panic, lights on, until baby was safe and sound under her tummy. Happy memories.


      1. It was always quite funny when she fetched it, then wouldn’t give it back. She’d come up to you and show it, then turn her head away. It was a case of getting hold of her collar, then the ball in her mouth and saying ‘thank you’, then she’d give it up with no problem.


          1. haha! Now that’s funny!! Maggie would show you she’d got it and perhaps run away, but we weren’t daft enough to chase her. As soon as we had hold of her collar though, she’d let us touch the ball in her mouth and release it to us, beautifully gummed and sticky when we said ‘Thank you.’


            1. Ani has her particular games…and we have to learn the rules. She likes to tease Stuart with this one…but has other variations for other people. Quite distinct games that she invents 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

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