I spend quite a lot of time throwing tennis balls for Canis Croxorum to chase.I’m not sure what it is about dogs and balls – perhaps it’s a vestige of that old lupine hunting instinct – but most dogs will jump (literally) at the chance of chasing a ball. Or a stick. Or a policeman’s leg. Whatever.
The thrill is in the chase, but dogs never tire of it. For dogs, there is no concept equivalent to the novelty wearing off. Which explains the charm of dogs, I guess.
As for me, I never tire of throwing balls for Canis Croxorum to chase, but to make it more fun I use a ball-thrower – a cup on the end of a springy plastic lever – which increases the effective length of my arm and allows me to throw the ball much further than I would have been able to unaided. Our ancestors, or some of them, called this device an ‘atlatl’. The combination of hunting dog and atlatl was, I surmise, a winner in the palaeolithic: the hunter would use an atlatl to lob a spear or a stone with great force at an antelope, and the huntsman’s dog would chase down the game. In that way, me and Canis Croxorum are re-enacting a story that’s as old as humanity.
Except that modern humans of an engineering bent have found ways of bringing the atlatl up to date. I refer you to this excellent video, sent to me by my friend Mr C. D. Of Leeds, to whom I am sure we all offer our grateful thanks.