The Dog & The Tennis Ball

Our dog Ellie lies on her side in her backyard and reaches out with her mouth for a tennis ball

You don’t need to travel to the Galapagos to see evolution in action. Consider that when Lewis & Clark first crossed the Rockies into the West, they looked across verdant fields and saw dogs chasing tennis balls, with some highly evolved breeds specializing in catching the hapless balls on the bounce.

While at the time dogs seemed to have the upper hand, in the intervening years evolution seems to have lobbed the advantage back into the ball’s court. The balls have increasingly learned to anticipate being caught from above and have developed ever more complex bounces to evade their slobbering foes.

But recently, dogs seem to be regaining mastery over their prey of old. While the ball nervously scans the skies, the dog flattens itself against the ground and sneaks up from the side, catching the ball unawares.

Our dog Ellie lies on her side in her backyard and looks at a tennis ball that is just out of reach

Usually catching the ball unawares. Sometimes the ball still manages to escape. That’s nature for you.

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