Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sassy Sue - Still Queen of the Dog Park

I was able to catch Sassy in the middle of her grab-the-mouse routine. When she wants me to stop working, she reaches over and drags her paw across my arm. She turns her ears back to show that she means business. 

Sassy will do this several times in a row, until I stop and pet her. She also puts her mouth around my fingers on the mouse, making it impossible to work, mostly because I am laughing. If I laugh, she laughs too. Mine is surrender-laughing. Hers is victory-laughing.

Everyone sees the mischief and love in her face.

The next photo shows Sassy in possession of the wireless mouse. She dragged it off the computer desk with her paw, but looked away from the flash.

This is when she rolls over for a tummy rub and hug. Apparently German Shepherds love to hug, because I have seen many photos of them pressed up against their owners. She does not have the serious look of the German Shepherd most of the time. She has a shy smile. Everyone loves her.

No dog can approach Sassy's skill at the dog park. She catches the wildest balls, thrown high in the air. She often snaps them out of the air while running up to catch them. Part of it is her estimation of where the ball will land by the way I throw it. That does not explain how she can be running full-speed away from me and meeting the ball at the right moment, often leaping up to reach it.

She loves to have people watching and clapping. There is an extra light in her eyes when she hears applause and "Ohhh!" She can drop it so it rolls to my foot, but she also flips it with her mouth to land in my hands. If she drops it nearby to show how independent she is, I clap my hands lightly and say, "In my hands." She picks it up and drops it into my hands.

Cattle Dogs are very quick and agile, eager to snag balls all day. Our late Cattle Dog snapped houseflies out of the air.That agility doubtless adds to Sassy's skill. I told one admirer, "She has the IQ of a German Shepherd and Cattle Dog combined."

Children all love Sassy, and she loves them. She is a bit too eager to kiss the little ones, but the bigger ones like to throw the ball for her.

Most dogs compete with Sassy to grab the magical orange ball, the one that earns all the applause and praise. Sassy has learned how to outsmart the cornerback wannabees.

Only one dog, Maggie, a black Lab, figured out the whole routine. We were there with Maggie one day - no other dog. Maggie saw how to plant herself and catch each high toss, but she alternated with Sassy and brought me the ball each time. Maggie added a quart of spit, a Labrador talent. She was so funny and pleased with herself that it was a special trip to the park. Both dogs realized they were teaming up, so they had great fun.