Quill’s Indestructible Ball

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For those who have followed my stories over the years, you may remember that Quill is my ball fanatic – and that he was the youngest until Miss Trulee (Border Terrier) came along at the end of last year. Quillan does not initially play favorites when it comes to his preferred round toy – he will test them all, it could be a small one, large one, air filled one (which he promptly relieves of the air), one with a handle, one without, purple, orange, red, blue, it matters not. But when he chooses a favorite it is his favorite until such time it no longer operates to suit him.
For the past couple of years his favorite has been an orange, fairly indestructible soccer ball – dog designed, not an official one. We have enjoyed many hours of “go way back and wait for me to kick it”, which he obeys, and runs to the far corner of the yard as I attempt a decent aim for an area where he can chase it. My hope is always to make it a clean kick without knocking a bird nest out of a tree, the gutter off the house, or Quill unconscious in the process. I do okay, though sometimes after a particularly lousy shot he just gives me that look like, “Seriously?”
For years the orange soccer ball was Quill’s, and Quill’s only, the others never cared to play, not that they really had the chance due to Quill’s competitive nature. Frasier, who is Quill’s uncle, has never been a ball fanatic, though he does possess an equally competitive nature, so it gives him great pleasure to water Quill’s favorite orange soccer ball as a nose thumbing gesture to the one who knocked him out of the baby boy position in the family. “Oh Frasier, yuck!”
Trulee has a thing for Quillan, a serious face licking, appeasement wiggle, belly up, “please pay attention to me!” thing. He can’t walk two feet without her all over him and in his tolerant way he, well, tolerates her. So imagine my surprise and shock to find his beloved orange soccer ball taking a ride in Trulee’s mouth. Trulee bounces through life, and there she went across the yard, like a leaping gazelle, while Quill watched his orange ball being completely adulterated with Trulee cooties. “Well that’s it, I simply cannot play with it anymore, it is dead to me,” read the look on his face. Trulee completely oblivious to the enormous error she just committed, danced gleefully along, squashing the daylights out of the ball.
This ain’t my first rodeo kids, the solution is simple – either wash the ball (after all Frasier has visited it), offer it back to Quill and then bring it back in the house after each playtime, or purchase a new one and ditto. As a puppy he took a shine to our 20 year old lavender Jolly Ball, it was his absolute favorite until he sawed the handle off, and then didn’t really care immediately for the replacement. Eventually he accepted it, but like a kid with a favorite stuffed animal, replacements aren’t the same. The good news is he will switch his loyalty, so if the orange soccer ball chapter has closed, another will open. Stay tuned!
– Author Jane Fink

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