Do you recall the 1990’s movie, The Sandlot? If so, then you may remember that it is about a group of young boys who play baseball on a small field known as the sandlot. All of the boys try to avoid hitting over-the-fence homeruns because a backyard, adjacent to the outfield, contains a large dog who steals any ball that comes over his fence. The boys called the dog, The Beast. They were afraid to jump the fence and retrieve their baseballs because of him.
Well, I am afraid we may have the sandlot syndrome occurring at our house too. Only, in our backyard, Cole (a.k.a The Beast II), our black lab, is not just stealing baseballs, he is keeping golf balls, tennis balls, soccer balls, and frisbee’s too.
You see, Judd and I live behind a local elementary school. The school has a large play ground and soccer/T-ball field. Since the weather has been so nice lately, we have been putting Cole outside during the day.
Usually, when one of us comes home, we immediately go out to our backyard and play with Cole. I went out the other day and he very proudly brought me a tennis ball that we did not give him.
The next day, I stepped outside to continue our routine of afternoon playtime and he came galloping towards me with a golf ball in his mouth.
Then, on Sunday, while Judd was cutting our grass, he found a frisbee that Cole apparently called dibs on.
Last spring, we looked out the window and he was playing soccer on his own with a soccer ball that he wouldn’t give back to the local kids.
1. Don’t put a labrador retriever in the back yard and expect him not to retrieve anything.
2. Teach him to share with children.
3. Teach him that the old saying “Finders, keepers” does not apply at our house.
4. Offer him more toys of his own so that he will stop stealing.
To all of our neighborhood children, we apologize for our dog’s lack of manners.
To all the parents in our neighborhood, consider putting your address on your sporting equipment. We promise to return whatever Cole finds. :)