Justice at 5 Months – Morning Playtime

Justice at Months
A Puppy’s Morning Play

The day Justice turned 5 months old dawned quiet, crisp and sunny.  I decided to take photos of his participation in all the big dogs’ daily ball sessions, because he has invented some fascinating games that are different according to the tolerance level of that particular adult dog.  I have never had a dog devise such complicated games – and remember which game he plays with which other dog. 

Since I’m still trying to get him forget his fascination with rocks, I take a different toy (sometimes 2) out for him each time in case he gets tired of the game he invents – or the big dog isn’t cooperating that day.

We go out as soon as the sun is up since it takes over 3 hours to do all the ball sessions.  I give each dog a fifteen-minute ball session plus a cooling-off period before I put it up and get the next one out.  The winter sun is already quite low on the horizon even close to midday, so you will see some really interesting light effects and shadows in these photos.  Enjoy!!

Hesed has the first ball session.  For this session he, too likes to carry a ball.  Well, most of the time.  Sometimes he drops it and tries to get to Hesed’s ball before she does.

Hopeful’s session is next.  She prefers a Kong-on-a-rope to a ball.  Justice LOVES to grab it as she drops it at me feet, and race off with it, so I have to take two Kongs out, as well as a toy for him.  He still really likes squeaky toys, so I make sure the toy for this session has a working squeaker.  He now also likes to play tug, so I make sure it’s one we can both hold and tug.  If he’s busy tugging, he can’t grab Hopeful’s Kong.  On this particular day I took out his beloved crocodile.  She gets quite irritated if he breaks up her rapid go-come-go-come-go-come runs, so if I keep him occupied with his toy, I can grab hers and quickly throw it.  I am quite busy during this session, with usually both hands occupied. 

Spirit’s session is next.  Spirit has a high booty drive, which is a desire to possess the toy.  She likes to retrieve, but has an awful time giving up the ball.  Because of this, I use two balls.  I have one ball ready in the ChuckIt where she can see it, and I wait until she decides she can drop the ball she has.  Then I quickly throw the other ball and off she races.  Justice finds this fascinating and has begun hovering close by so that he can chase and grab the ball she drops.  Then he chases her out a little way before bringing the ball to me so I can have it ready to throw when she returns.  Spirit sometimes takes a while before she can stand to let the ball go, and she will chew it, even accidently drop and bump it so she has to go chasing after it.  I get the feeling sometimes that she’s teasing Justice, because he gets all excited as soon as the ball moves – and then she pounces on it so he doesn’t get it.

Justice takes a break in his crate while Lively has her ball session.  She is 12 years old and arthritic, so I don’t let him pester or bump her,

Next is GloryToo’s ball session.  She wasn’t much on retrieving until Hopeful, my maniac retriever, came along.  She likes the action and chases her ball a lot more than when alone, so this is a two-girl ball session.  Justice, the pest, likes to grab their balls as they drop them to roll to me, making me chase him down before I can throw it for whichever big dog’s it is.  So I’m working on getting him to prefer a tug/retrieve session with his own town and ignore the balls.  He’s starting to get the idea.  Because I’m so busy with three dogs, I didn’t get any photos of the two big dogs.  I did get some of Justice with his favorite toy of all times, his chipmunk.  I had also taken out a pink ball in case he really wanted something to chase.

Justice has another break while I do Mercy’s ball session.  Mercy absolutely will not give the ball to me because she’s afraid he will grab it, so he is not allowed out during her ball time.  She tolerates him the rest of the day, but retrieving is a VERY serious business to her.

He usually comes out a little subdued with Lovely.  It might be that he had just enough of a nap that he realized how tired he was from all the activity of the morning’s play sessions.  Or he might be saving his energy for the last ball session – with Cantor which is really wild.  Anyway, he is usually more interested in chewing with a toy or just snuggling with it.  I take out one of the bigger squeaky toys for this session – today it was his cow.  He also had quite the contemplative session with a stick he found.  I got some great photos of that peaceful interaction.

 to page 2 of Justice’s five-month-old photos
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