Friday, 8 January 2010

the tennis ball trees are in fruit once more

Last January Penny discovered that the trees in our yard grow tennis balls. She would pick up plums dropped by the birds and carry them around. As far as we could figure it, she didn't try to eat them, but we picked the whole crop early just to be safe. Apparently the big seed in a stone fruit is dangerous for dogs.

Well, the tennis balls have appeared once more.

I'm trying to be more relaxed about it this year, as Penny doesn't tend to chew on toys. Here she is minding her much-loved whirlwheel. She's just keeping an eye on it rather than chewing on it, but I must admit that after I took this photo I put the whirlwheel away till next time we go out for a swim.

But soon she was walking around with a plum. I let her have it on her mat for a while and then in a matter-of-fact way put it up on the shelf with the other balls and toys. (Hmm... how much would a plum have to be washed after being in a dog's mouth if it were to be used for human consumption? Not sure about that. But, on the other hand, the rest of the crop has been nibbled or sat on by possums and birds.)

She hasn't touched the nectarines so far, but maybe that's because none have landed on the ground. And the apples are too small to be interesting. I hope.

But now she's discovered the pecked apricots!

It's an interesting time. Luckily, Penny rarely goes outside if we're not out there with her.


Papillon Bleu said...

Hi Parlance! I never think of visiting this part of your cute.
I thank you for your birthday wishes.
I have to confess that I thought a lot about you after putting my last video on Youtube ( don't know if you've seen it).In fact I was mortfified because I spelt mattress with one T only ( as in French...)and once my partner told me my mistake I thought "oh...what are people going to think? and...Parlance!" as you see, a real torment.
Anyway, it is done now.
I wish you a happy new year and also to your cute dog.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Can we please come and live at your house, Penny? An endless supply of free fruit dropping out of trees sounds wonderful to us!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

BookingAlong said...

Dogs have the strangest obsessions, don't they? We had a dog who was very attached to a ball which had a jingling bell in the center.

One habit I found intriguing: he's put the ball under a pillow, literally pulling the pillow over it and then "pretend" the ball was hidden, actually looking as us as if to say, "Where is it?"

Then he'd dig like crazy, trying to get THROUGH the pillow and retrieve his prize. The pillows didn't last long. We bought cheap ones. We probably should have been stricter but he seemed to have so much fun - and he invented the game himself!

Mary said...

Maybe they smell good when they have been pecked. I am looking forward to coming home (from the supermarket) and having some fresh fruit, don't let her collect them all.

theregatha said...

Oh those plums look so inviting. Penny is very good to not chomp into them....I would.
Are they real apricots? I have not seen or tasted a real apricot for years.... they do have some very smallish, squishy, orangy, ball shaped things at the suopermarket that are called apricots, but trust me they are not. Guard them with your life Penny they are real gold.

parlance said...

theregatha, you are so right! Those things at the supermarket aren't apricots! Our tree has lots and I'm determined to rescue some from the creatures that peck and nibble them, so I went into the fabric stash of someone you know and stole a bit length of tutu material (forget the name) and wrapped it around some of the branches.
Do you think she will forgive me? Is that kind of material expensive?

Maybe she is reading this...

parlance said...

Uh, oh! Mary, did you read my comment to theregatha?

parlance said...

BookingAlong, that's a great story. It'd be interesting to collect stories of dogs who invent their own games. Penny puts things on her mat on occasion and then flings it around till the object flies across the room, but we've never figured out how much deliberate intent there is in the game.

parlance said...

Maggie and MItch, the downside is that Penny isn't allowed to eat any of it. But on the other hand, as balls they roll quite nicely.

Mary said...

Hello again, yes I did read it. It was material that was being thrown out by others and frugal me couldn't let that happen. But I have never used it, so I am glad you have found a use for it eventually. Let's hope it works.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Hi Penny,
Mom's favorite kidney site that has the most information is:
She's on that site for hours at a time!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, thanks for that info!

parlance said...

Mary, Penny can't have been on the job, because something crept up under the nice white material wrapping the fruit and started nibbling. But only one apricot, as far as I can see.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Gosh - you sound like you're living in a fruit orchard!! :-)

That 1st picture of the plums is just gorgeous - ought to be on a calendar!

parlance said...

Honey, it feels like a fruit orchard this year! I think the rain has fallen at just the right times to make the fruit grow - even though there hasn't been a lot of rain.