You threw it, why should I fetch it?

Fetch is a simple game – you throw, they retrieve. But after my mom blew my mind the other day with her insight about pet toys, I’ve started to take a second look at familiar things. A recent trip to the park had me rethinking what I can learn from Eko’s struggle to understand fetch.

If I take a ball from home, go to the park with Eko and then throw the ball? Eko assumes I must be throwing it away. He ignores the ball then finds a stick to run around with

On the other hand, my brother’s dog Dutch is so obsessed with fetch he will disregard an oncoming wave because he can’t bare to turn away from the ball

At the park Eko saw how excited Dutch was, but he couldn’t understand the hype. To Eko, my brother was trying to throw something away. Why would Dutch be rude and bring it right back to him? 

Eko gets a bit forlorn when other pups ignore him and prefer to spend their time playing fetch

“I don’t get it, Will.”

I laugh at Eko’s confusion, but I have to admit I don’t get it either. Fetch – a simple game – illustrates a simple lesson. You’re not always going to understand why pets or people love what they do.  Or why they’re passionate about the things they’re passionate about. So just enjoy your passion and enjoy others enjoying theirs.

Although, Eko’s passion is jumping into dogs who won’t play with him so…

I may need to tweak my theory.

40 thoughts on “You threw it, why should I fetch it?”

  1. Maybe us ridgeback owners should rethink this. Maybe Ridgebacks are really good at the art of not getting attached to things. Nope, I don’t need your ball, your stick, your Frisbee. I am free of attachment to objects. May have to work a bit on this theory…

  2. As puppies, all of our RR’s would at least chase a ball 3 or 4 times before boredom set in, but as they got older their attitude was always, “you threw it so you go get it if you really want it. Your ball is not my problem!” We’ve also noticed that our RR’s will chase other dogs who run in big circles at the park just so long before they figure out that they can choose a strategically advantageous spot and wait for the pack to run by again. They clearly see no point in expending needless energy when the pack will come back in a few seconds.

  3. Aspen never understood fetch either. I would throw the ball and she would watch me pick it up and repeat. It always ended up with her walking away from me with this look on her face like I was stupid. However, if another dog was involved with the chase, she would go after it just so she cold play keep away with the other dog. Go figure!

    • Aspen and Eko are kindred spirits. Eko doesn’t “get” fetch but he knows other dogs are obsessed with the ball. If they won’t chase him, he’ll just steal the ball and make them chase him.


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