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1 ball + 1 rope + 1 service dog = New Circus Act

“Faith, want to go play?” Faith lunged unto her seat in my van in near record time.

Chas, my husband, accompanied us to the local park for some fresh air and change of scenery. Our destination was atop a large grass-covered hill overlooking the Susquehanna River, ideal for ball throwing and retrieving.

Undressing Faith from her service dog gear had to be executed in sequential order. First, her power steering mechanism, the fabric around her nose where a leash attaches, was taken off. Next, her pink scarf, worn so people realize she is a girl. Lastly, her harness was removed. Faith immediately dropped to the ground and rolled on her back. Wiggling and kicking the air, she gave the impression of demonstrating a new upside-down dance.

“Mom, where’s the ball? I want to play.” Faith conveys as she placed her front paws on my lap and nuzzled for the ball.

Canine Partners for Life has a rule. If the play area is not fenced, the dog must be attached to a rope. I hooked one end to Faith’s collar.

Now where am I going to tie the other end? There’s nothing but grass. I’ll tie it around my waist. After all, what could happen? I weigh a whole lot more than she does.

Our normal playtime routine began. Number one: throw the ball. Number two: Faith races for ball. Number three: ball is relinquished to me.

 “How long is this rope?”

The next throw confirmed laws of physics. One. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Two. Objects rolling down hill tend to increase speed.

Faith missed the ball. Not wanting it to escape down the grassy knoll, she pursued her prize with gusto.

My body, following after her, lurched through the air like being shot out of a circus cannon. Arms and legs free from their wheelchair confines stretched out different directions. My four-point landing, two arms and two knees, did not qualify for the Olympics. Rolling over in sheer laughter, I wondered if observers liked my circus act debut.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” asked Chas.

“The only thing hurt is my pride.”

Faith, excited I was on her level, bathed my face with her tongue. Ball throwing temporarily suspended.

Chas helped me back unto my wheelchair and removed the rope from my waist. Something told me he didn’t want a repeat performance.

Remember, life may not be what it seems. Make sure you are secured to a solid anchor.