Stop … Ball Thief!

This kind of thing shouldn’t bother me, but it did.

No, my website didn’t go down.

My dogs $7 ball got stolen at the dog beach.

As soon as we got to the dog beach, I was greeted by some of the usual dog walkers.

Cain was antsy and dancing side to side; eyes locked on me, waiting with anticipation for me to throw him the ball.

I wound back the Chuck-it and gave it a launch.

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For all you non-dog owners, the Chuck-it is a ball grabber and launcher combined, so we don’t have slobber hands.

This revolutionary invention takes these special balls that are the closest that come to indestructible for a pit bull.

Sending the thing about 50 yards, it nails a waste bin and redirects. He bolted after it only to be intercepted by a little black husky looking dog with blue eyes (it was one of the dog walkers dogs).

My first throw and now I gotta chase this little pup around the beach to get the ball back. The dog walker was on the other side of the beach and didn’t see the theft go down.

I’d say forget about it, but chasing the ball is the only thing my dog loves doing.

He doesn’t play with the other dogs. He doesn’t run around like a wild horse. He likes his ball.

That’s his thing.

Walking up to the dog to retrieve my property, it bolts into the 45-degree water.

He was bout fifteen feet out, and he dropped the ball in the water. It was just deep enough where I could not see it on the bottom, or else I would have considered rolling up my pants and grabbing it.

Which I did two years ago to fetch a ball Cain lost in the winter water.

The dog then gives up (because it sunk to the bottom) and left us standing ashore to chasing dog who was more interesting.

By now, Cain is getting flustered and whining, and I’m starting to feel guilty.

I usually keep extras in my car for this very reason, but not today.

Grabbing another on from the store would take at least 30-minutes round-trip. At first, I was pissed.

Why can’t this dude just control his dog?

This happened last week too.

Time is the one thing that is precious to me, and it gets on my nerves when I am wasting time.

Then immediately, I caught myself.

Pausing for a moment, I took a bigger picture view on the situation.

This is MY fault.

Knowing the dog does this, it could have been prevented by not throwing the ball near that dog. I’ve got several of these balls at home. I could have just brought extras to store in my car (which I usually do).

I was able to laugh at myself and the whole situation because it’s kind of funny when you think about it.

Grown man about to chase down a dog into the water for a freaking ball.

It’s just dogs being dogs.

These little nuisances go on in life every day.

Ramit Sethi recently wrote about how he was getting annoyed at his garbage can. A garbage can!

Yes, it may be silly that I am writing about a dog’s ball.

But, in these moments of annoyance. The moments of nuisance.

We can decide to react and get frustrated and let these events alter our state. Or we can shift and respond in a positive light.

At that point I decided between going home, or shifting plans and doing a training session with my pup.

(Yes, going home because Cain without his ball at the park will just whine and whine.)

Knowing he needs the excercise, I decided to stick around and work on training.

He’s eight years old almost, so these things get boring after a while. But, we practiced on “sit-stays” and “place.”

Place is where he sits on the bench. Everyone at the park loooooves this one.

We worked for about 20-mintues, and he loved it. He redirected his obsessive energy to find the ball into something constructive and had one of his best training sessions in a long time.

What little nuisances drive you crazy in your life? How do you react or respond?

Someone cuts us off in traffic. We get something stolen from us. A drink lands in our lap.

It is in these moments, we can make a choice. We can choose to react like I almost did. Or, we can take full responsibility for our lives.

When we react, we aren’t thinking clear. We are aware of the things that can be learned. We deviate from our “why” or life’s purpose.

When we take responsibility, we can enjoy freedom from other people, things, or events robbing us of our power.

Yeah, I was out $7.

Oh well. It was a cheap lesson in being prepared. Next time, I’ll bring two extra balls.

But, it’s refreshing to know that my life is no longer on automatic response mode. That I can learn and be aware of these little things and shift rather than reacting.

What are some of the things that are a nuisance to you?