“DOUGHNUT FETCH!” the tiny human screeches and hurls my plastic squeaky doughnut toy into the kitchen.  The hunt is on.  I barrel into the next room and skitter across the tile floor.  Seizing the delightfully delicious squeaky doughnut, I turn and speed back to the gleeful child, who screams and jumps on the couch as if I’m some wild beast. This is our game, Emelia and I.

Child and dog
Child and dog (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)


Now I must entice her to throw my favorite toy again.   Ignoring the three year old, I take my doughnut into the center of the room and stretch casually.  Squeaky, squeaky, squeak.  The plastic doughnut calls out to Emelia.  The sound is irresistible.  From the corner of my eye, I can see her moving to the edge of the couch. My ears twitch in anticipation.  The doughnut screams uncontrollably.  I know I have succeeded when Emelia shrieks,“Homah, come!”


Ever the obedient dog, I present her with my slobber soaked treasure. Emelia wraps her tiny fingers around the toy, locking the doughnut in a death grip.  I grin; this is better than a game of fetch.  My teeth sink into the plastic with one last squeak.  Tug of war begins.  I pull with all my might and the three-year-old slides off the couch digging her toes into the rug.  Emelia’s face darkens with determination.  I sit back on my haunches trying to loosen her grip on the toy.


“Homah, leave it!” hollers Emelia asserting herself. I want to ignore her demands but I can’t.  My duty is to obey humans, even small ones.  I let the toy go and Emelia falls back giggling.  Throwing her chubby arms around my neck, she buries her face in my fur.  “Good doggie,” Emelia whispers. Then to my delight, she holds the toy overhead and shrieks, “DOUGHNUT FETCH!”


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