When having a quiet morning walk, Cooper loves to see another owner and dog entering the park. It’s all very well for him to sniff those fascinating smell-drenched bushes, but it’s even more fun for him to enthusiastically greet a fellow canine. Ideally, they will then want to play with him. And what’s the best game? The Chase Me game, of course, and Cooper… well, he loves to play the role of the Chaser.
This tall, curly-haired owner has a beige and white mottled greyhound. Now, despite having met multiple greyhounds before, and especially this particular greyhound called Charlie, Cooper is not deterred from initiating the Chase Me game with a bold, demanding WOOF. In response, with a blink and a blur off springs Charlie – all long legs and raw speed – as he bounds across the length of the park. It looks like absolutely no effort at all.
Cooper doesn’t let the fact that he has never even come close to catching up with a dog this fast put him off. He doesn’t think back to the many times he hasn’t been able to match Charlie’s speed. He thinks that at some point he will catch him, and today could be that day, no? Cooper is half the size, carrying a little holiday weight and has stubby legs more suited to crawling through undergrowth for investigation… but so what? He launches off in pursuit with a loud, rally cry of barking. Cooper’s paws hardly touch the ground as he gives it his absolute all to catch his buddy.
To onlookers it seems like a fruitless pursuit. The owners just stare in bemusement as their dogs run in a wide circle around them, ignoring everything but the glorious chase.
Cooper could catch him, he really could.
What can you learn from your dog?
Humans seem to be plagued with a lot more self-doubt and overthinking than our dogs. Should you enter that 10K race? What if you end up in last place? You might feel pretty demoralised setting off against the greyhound equivalent friend who is so much better than you. But what would your dog do? He would see a challenger and think it might just be fun to compete with them. He would give it a good go.
Your dog 100% goes for it and it doesn’t cross his mind that his goal might just be impossible. And who cares if it is? It’s about the chase.