On the ground, a stick is a lifeless, broken and unremarkable branch. Just dead and brittle debris to you or me. But I always loved that once my dogs picked up a stick it immediately transformed into a magic wand. The union of teeth and bark creating an irresistible alchemy, transmuting the stick into the greatest treasure on earth. Eko was a consummate Merlin, and he loved using his magic to start a game of chase with Penny.
Eko would then gamely let his apprentice bewitch him in turn.
My two spellbinding pups loved to play this hypnotic game, often picking up other dogs along the way. The pack would charge past dozens of sticks, yet they only ever cared about the magic one . But even the most powerful magic is powerless without an audience. With Eko gone, Penny’s taken up the mantle of master magician and continued her brother’s work. First, she finds her mark.
It helps to pick a goofy, good-natured rube like our new pal, Boris. This guy already seemed particularly fixated on a stick when Penny found him, so he made the perfect target.
Boris wasn’t initially aware that the spell had begun, but he quickly discovered he was a part of the show.
Penny darted in front of Boris and caused the startled pup to drop his stick. It’s an old maneuver she picked up from her big brother. And therein lies the other magic of this trick – for a moment I fall under the illusion I am watching Eko.
The brilliance of Eko’s magic was that he would always keep the mark just close enough to think they had a chance of catching him. I laughed as I realized that when it comes to the dark arts of magical mayhem, Penny was a close study.
Penny kept Boris right on her hip, bounding down the beach until he finally gave up. At which point she happily trotted over and dropped the stick at his feet. Magic, like love, is best when shared.