For some reason, when my red and white Border Collie, River, saw me picking up my rusted two piece Pooper Scooper it turned him into a screaming, whirling devil. He attacked it. He barked at it. He followed me around the yard, almost tripping me in his haste to attack the big claws scooping up his droppings. Over the years I allowed him to play his game only if he didn’t dump the contents, or worse, dump me on the ground. In time I think he saw this event as his job. To his dying day, he still loved to mock attack and herd the Pooper Scooper. It was no surprise that he passed this odd game to my other Border Collie, Levi, who in turn, is teaching Catcher, my youngest Border Collie.
Levi takes the game to a different level. Most mornings we’ll walk in the back yard and I’ll say to him, “Wanna scoop poop?” Levi cries in anticipation. He knows where I store the Walmart bags in the garage. He immediately grabs a small leaf or twig. (Levi cannot run without an object in his mouth, another strange behavior.) Holding it precariously in his mouth he runs to the poop bags, his pupils big, feet dancing, a little squeal coming out of his clamped jaws. I grab the Pooper Scooper and the game begins.
Catcher hasn’t added his variation to the game. He only knows that Levi is excited so it must be worth imitating. He has learned that when I have the Scooper it means running, twisting and barking with Levi. The two have also learned, in this hot Florida climate, to rest in the shade until I actually find something to scoop. Then they race over to me, twirling, tumbling, sometimes doing laps around the yard to release their pent up energy, then dropping again when I move on.
Daily Pooper Scooper games are a great exercise for the dogs. I wonder what the neighbors think?