The days begin by taking the dog out. As soon as we enter the park my job is to find a stick. Although there are lots of trees, demand for throw-able objects outstrips supply. Sometimes it takes me 10 mins of looking before I find one heavy enough – beneath a certain size Carter looks at the object and refuses to pick it up. The game begins. I lean back to throw the stick as far as I can and Carter chases off in the direction he thinks I will throw it. Sometimes I can fool him but he has become very astute to the small differences between a false build up and a real one.
Although I try to stop him, Carter can’t resist crunching the stick a few times between his powerful teeth. As the game progresses the stick gradually grows smaller. Carter looks mystified when the stick has joined the ranks of the ‘too-small-to-throw’ and the game is over.