We met the black labs Mia and Rua today & their owners. Jasper managed to pilfer their squeaky rugby-ball-shaped Kong ball and had a wonderful game with it while Mia and Rua had to make do with normal boring tennis balls. It's amazing what he can do with a ball while wearing a muzzle, he's as skilled with his nose as Pele is with his left foot
Then it was time to go, and getting pilfered balls off Jasper is never easy - I don't normally give him the opportunity to pinch them, but I know the owners well and they know Jasper. The man walked calmly up to Jasper, Jasper grrrrred and barked a bit but was a bit half-hearted about it (compared to usual
) and didn't freeze or lunge at him, then the man simply put his foot on the ball and picked it up, at which Jasper shrugged his shoulders and went to cool off in the stream.
I don't know how he does it - he has such a cool calm presence, he isn't in the slightest bit confrontational, but he just has this way of conveying that he is now going to get the ball, and that is what happens. It's awesome. His wife says it's because he has absolutely no fear of getting bitten,* but there's more to it than that. I just wish I had whatever it was
I'm sure they think I've failed to 'show Jasper who's boss', but they're too polite to say.
*This may very well be true - he once nearly severed a finger when fiddling with his motorbike. Deciding that it was rather inconvenient to have it hanging off by a single ligament, he yanked it off completely, wrapped it up and went off to the hospital with it in his pocket...