David Moseley

SA's greatest challenge in 2014

2014-02-18 14:06

David Moseley

It’s a big year for South Africa, with many challenges ahead. There are changes afoot and new players imposing themselves on the landscape.

Important questions need decisive answers. How will the ANC ride out the challenge of Julius Malema and his EFF? Will our politicians ever be able to work together, to build a better South Africa for those who really need it?

How will the ANC create jobs? Better yet, how will the DA create real jobs?

But most importantly, in these sombre political, environmental and economic times, will my dog finally learn to catch her Frisbee? It’s this challenge that vexes me most.

My wife wants our dog to be the first to graduate from puppy school with a PHD (Perfectly Honed Dog) in Obedience. She wants Rocket to roll-over, write music and perhaps one day put an end to the fracking debate. Me? All I want is for the dog to catch a Frisbee. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

I blame the Husky ads of my youth, where eager hounds leapt acrobatically to pluck Frisbees and tennis balls from the air. They’ve instilled in me a desire to see my dog do likewise, to sprint across the field or beach, racing brazenly through romantic picnickers to retrieve a Frisbee with gravity-defying jumps of joy.

I started with food. “Catch, Rocket!” I implored, lobbing chicken pellets skywards. The dog duly followed the flight path of her treats, watching as they arced up and then down, following the food all the way to the end of her snout where they bounce off and onto the floor. “Strange way to feed me,” I can see her thinking. “But I’ll take it.”

The actual Frisbee throwing hasn’t fared much better. She’s a chaser, my Rocket. Balls, sticks, birds, cats and soccer balls that are involved in soccer matches are enticing to her. But that’s about it. She’s too much of a lady to actually bother with catching anything.

When the Frisbee goes up she sets off with great speed and determination. I can see it in her eyes. “This time,” she’s thinking, “you’re my bitch.” But as the Frisbee comes down to earth a uniquely interesting blade of grass takes her attention or she runs around in a confused circle, ducking out the way at the last minute like a schoolboy cricketer who’s lost a high ball in the sun.

“What the hell was that?” screams the puzzled look on her face. “There I was, just running along, and this squishy round thing fell out of the sky. Did you see that, Tall Strangely Unhairy Two-Legged Dog? Did you see that?!”

Rocket, why can’t be more like the Husky-ad dogs, I ask. Upon which she notices the Frisbee in my hand and starts bouncing with excitement. “Throw it,” she urges. “Throw that damn thing.”

I can feel it now. The determination is there. She wants to catch.

“This time,” she’s thinking, “that Frisbee is my bitch.” So I fling it hard as I can across the field and the dog sets off with great determination and speed, believing that this is it. This is her time to catch. And as the Frisbee comes down the dog veers off course, turns around and bolts straight for me.

I can sense the excitement and sense of achievement as her tail goes into helicopter-spin mode. “I did it,” exclaims the wagging tail. “I did it! I ran over there just like you asked, and I came straight back! Where’s my treat!?”

Okay, Rocket. That’ll do.
- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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