Courtney Ball

Our New Dance Partner

Our new dog Ranger dances with the girls.

Last week we welcomed a new dog into our family. His name is Ranger, and he has quickly worked his way into our hearts.

A definition of ranger according to Dictionary.com is “one who ranges or roams”. That fits, especially if we try to leave him in the yard while we’re gone. We learned quickly that Ranger is good at finding loose boards in our old picket fence.

Last weekend, we set about repairing and (we thought) dog proofing our fence. After a long, grueling day working in 90+˚ heat, we thought we had it done.

Yesterday Emmy was at work and I took the girls shopping (school started today), and while we were gone Ranger set about testing our work. When we arrived home, we found him trotting up the block, covered in poop from a pile he had decided to roll in.

We bathed him, which he didn’t like so much, and I drove a few nails into the loose picket. Later that afternoon, I took the girls to the library and left Ranger outside again to see how it would go. Not being able to loosen the board he had before, he simply broke the bottom of it off and crawled under the fence again. Apparently he returned to the pile of poop he had rolled in before. We bathed him again.

I won’t bore you with the details of how I did it, but last night I must have fixed the fence for good. When I walked Aidyn to school this morning, I left Ranger outside once again to test my work. On my return I saw that he did not manage to loosen or break any boards to squeeze through a gap and escape. Instead, he decided it would be easier to just unlatch the gate and walk out. He may turn out to be smarter than me.

It’s been a long time since we had a dog who would bother putting that much effort into getting outside our yard. Our old dog Moses would rather just lie among the flowers and sleep. He was well beyond any sense of urgency, except when he wanted a treat or to be petted. He hadn’t run or jumped or danced in years.

It’s fun for all of us to welcome a younger dog into our family again. What I like most is seeing how the girls bond with him. Moses was always kind of my dog, but Ranger has already made it clear that his deepest loyalty is to them. He will be their dog who grows up with them, the one they’ll love the most. That close relationship between kids and their pet is one I always find beautiful to witness.

A new chapter has begun in the life of the Ball family. I look forward to watching it play out. Of course, plenty of things remain the same. For instance, even the new dog likes to sleep with his head under the bed now and then.

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Courtney Ball

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