DogCast Radio
Home Episodes Articles Blog Breed profiles Book reviews Photos Contact

Tennis balls and the wormhole into tomorrow

When I walk my dog in the field opposite my house, I usually take along one of those long plastic tennis ball flingers. This is because I got tired of nearly putting my shoulder out to produce a throw that it took him three seconds to retrieve. These devices are marvellous and once you get the knack, you can launch that tennis ball really impressive distances.

I’m pretty good at it, even if I do say so myself. If tennis ball launching were an Olympic Sport, I would definitely make my national squad.
Probably get a gold I should think. However, since it remains ignored as a top level sport (or a low level sport!) my talent is only appreciated by my dogs. But that’s okay, because it’s for them I developed the talent. Well, that and also to impress my husband with how much further than him I can throw the tennis ball.

So the average walk sees me chucking the ball awe-inspiring distances, with Buddy doing the genuinely impressive bit of galloping away after it, and cantering back with it gripped between his teeth. That’s how it works most of the time, but occasionally, being the glorious goofy Labrador that he is, he gets distracted from the ball and takes his eye off it. Then the ball goes and lands while Buddy isn’t looking, and suddenly he realises he hasn’t got a clue where it is.

At that point, he wheels round and regards me, mouth open in a panting grin, tail wagging. He is checking I haven’t perpetrated that oft played trick of merely pretending to throw the ball. I hold up the empty plastic launching device and say, “Where is it?” Then he cheerfully turns away, and nose to the ground, tail a happy flag, zigzags across the field in search of his ball.

Nine times out of ten we just cannot find the tennis ball. Buddy and Star put their noses to good use, and I stride about with them, but the vast majority of the time, we fail abysmally. As time has passed, I have begun to go about this very systematically, dividing the area into which I estimate the ball has fallen into stripes, and searching each one thoroughly.

All too often the sport is over for that day, and we return home minus one tennis ball. This is the weird part. The next day sees us back over at the field, with a replacement ball, ready for more chucking and retrieving. Inevitably, as we play, at some point we encounter yesterday’s ball. There it is, bold as brass right there; where it wasn’t yesterday. (My husband has tried to persuade me that tennis balls being inanimate objects can’t be described as being bold as brass, but I assure you that they are there, exhibiting no shame for their disappearance the day before, or their unexplained reappearance that day.)

As this began to happen more and more, I began to develop a theory to explain it. I believe the field over the road from my house, while purporting to be an absolutely ordinary field, actually contains a wormhole into tomorrow. The tennis balls are actually falling through the wormhole and landing in the next day. One minute they are falling on, for arguments’ sake a Wednesday, the next they are landing on a Thursday. Since less time has passed for them than for us, this may explain their lack of shame about the matter.

Ongoing experiments are being conducted into the phenomenon involving a variety of other balls, and even branching out into the Frisbee area. I shall publish my findings when the research is concluded. Perhaps I should warn low flying aircraft to give the field a wide berth, perhaps I should link up with Bermuda triangle investigators, or perhaps I should switch to a different brand of tennis balls?

Take care,



277 - Tripawd Superdogs, GB Senior Agility World Championship Team, Tuk's Law and the escapee kitten saved by a dog

In a bumper, bonanza, bulging at the seams episode, hear the inspiring story of the Tripawd Superdogs inspired by photographer Sarah Loveland's own three legged dog. History in the making, as the first British team enters the Senior Agility World Championships. Tuk’s Law campaigns to stop dogs and other pets being put down without the owner's knowledge. Daisy the escapee kitten was saved by a search and rescue dog, and her story is worthy of a Disney movie!

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.