Duncan loves his balls. They come in every possible shape and size, from bright fuzzy, green tennis balls, to the myriad tennis balls we found scattered along the edge of the golf course behind our building. He has rubber balls, Kong balls, ping-pong balls, baseballs, softballs, furry balls shaped like footballs and soccer balls. He's even been known to invent balls where there were none. And with the exception of the Kong, I have purchased none of them. A few were gifts from family and friends and readers, but the majority he has found (or stolen) himself. On cold winter days he has dragged me across the park to scavenge along the perimeters of the baseball diamonds, under mounds of snow and layers of decaying leaves to find a bright green softball. In the summer at the river he has vanished into the thickets, sometimes for minutes at a time, only to return clutching two half chewed tennis balls in his mouth. If there is a ball to be recovered Duncan is the dog to do it. We have lost many, as we did tonight on our walk down The Run, but I never fret because there are four or five scattered around the apartment as well as the hundred or so I've stored away in the drawers I keep with all the pet supplies. The pictures here are but a sample of his collection.
If a ball is the greatest treasure a dog can possess, then Dunc is wealthy beyond words. And the hours I have spent throwing them back and forth, watching him retrieve them, his tail wagging in big circular arcs behind him, have made me richer than I could dream possible.