Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

A dog and her toys

Marty’s photo of the day #3936: Nellie is one-half golden retriever and one-half Australian cattle dog (which also makes her one-quarter dingo). Consequently, she is the most intelligent dog Deb and I have ever had, and she requires a lot of mental stimulation. Each morning—no matter what the weather—I take Nellie to an open section in our forest and we play. At first we played with a single Frisbee. Later, to increase her stimulation, we switched to me alternating throwing two different kinds of Frisbees. And most recently, we switched to me alternating throwing a Frisbee and a baseball.

Nellie loves the variety, but for me the most interesting part of our game is when we return to the house. She always insists on carrying whatever we played with. Carrying two Frisbees took a little maneuvering for her to get them both off the ground at the same time, and switching to a baseball and a Frisbee forced her to really think things through—but she got it.

Late yesterday, Deb was out throwing two baseballs for Nellie. Unfortunately Nellie’s mouth isn’t quite big enough to hold both balls—but she’s trying. I’m sure she’ll figure out some way to do it soon.

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