Shadow started retrieving this afternoon.
She progressed from simply chasing a ball (which she wasn’t doing three days ago) to picking it up, to carrying it around, and eventually to bringing it back near me (to me is a little more precise than she’s yet mastered).
Have I mentioned Elisha can throw now? About a foot. It’s adorable. It makes him feel very grown-up, especially when he’s playing with Daddy.
We were playing in the front yard and Shadow came and lay between us. She kept leaning over to pick up the ball after he threw it, and he’d crawl to her (I swear he was exasperated with her: That’s not for you.) and take it out of her mouth.
I was right there the whole time and was impressed with them both, his fearlessness (purposeful but not mean) and her compliance.
At one point I threw a ball across the yard and Shadow just stayed panting in the shade. Elisha looked from me, to the dog, to the ball and booked over to get the ball himself. He was almost there when Shadow seemed to realize he was serious and trotted off after him.
He sat up and looked at her when she came even with him, then turned his back and collected the ball he was after. Shadow went over and picked up a different ball nearby.
In all this Shadow has never tried to challenge Elisha’s “authority” and is gaining great points of confidence from me.
She’s also seeming like more fun as she’s becoming interactive and available more more than snuggles or belly rubs.