“Today finally feels like Spring Break, huh?” I ask her as we make our fourth trip to the city in five days. She is set to hang out with her friends.
“Finally! Maybe it’s the weather.”
I agree. This seventy-degree day makes Spring Break finally feel like the summertime pre-game that it is supposed to be.
I drop her off and drive home, her Spotify playlist somehow intertwined with mine.
I reset the dryer, pour myself a drink, and open the door to the bedroom so that our dogs can spend the rest of their afternoon snoozing in the sunshine pillowside.
He looks right at me. Ears perked. Tail high.
This hasn’t felt like Spring Break to him, either, I realize.
We head out the door to the side yard. More than half a dozen orange balls litter the barren ground, untouched but for the few minutes when we sit down to watch a show.
“Getch yer ball,” I command him.
He picks a mid-sized orb and brings it to me on my right. I throw it along the side of the house; it bounces once before he catches it, using the gravity of the hillside to slow down and turn around.
She chooses a small ball, the kind she likes to chew on with her back teeth. We call it her “bubble gum.” I choose a path between the firepit and the trampoline for her, throw it just out in front of her so that she, too, can catch it on the hop.
He doesn’t stop.
She likes to take breaks.
He fetches as fast as I can can throw.
She gets a few chews in, hovering her giant mouth over my extended hand, reluctant to give it back.
His ball gets muddy almost instantly, coating my hand in a layer of decomposed granite.
Her ball stays shiny; she cleans in between each run.
He sometimes misses, tapping the ball with his nose, sending it into the fence, darting in agile angles, determined not to miss again.
She sometimes misses, jumps at it with both front paws; lumbering and lazy she brings it back just out of reach and drops it in the dirt.
He could go all day.
She will get distracted eventually.
“Two more,” I tell him after nearly twenty minutes.
They both set their toys in my hand.
He lets his go, sure that I will throw it; he misses, finds it and brings it back.
She holds on, so I pinch it between my thumb and middle finger, like you do when you bite into an apple. I am careful not to catch my finger in her massive jowls. She simply will not let go until she’s ready.
“Make it a good one,” I tell him. He misses, darts, dashes, and returns. She is still not ready.
“Gotta end on a good one,” I say. Right; he catches his. Left; she catches hers.
“Alright, let’s go inside.”
The sun is still shining, there is still pillowside snoozing to be had. And just like that, it finally feels like the Spring Break we all needed.