In my afternoon trip today, I was down at the water with three ball obsessed dogs equipped with three orange rubber chuck-it balls. We were off in the corner by the big tree enjoying our retrieving relay races. A man standing next to us had a retriever who also had the same orange rubber chuck-it ball. There were a couple times during our rapid fire fetch that one of my dogs would get his ball on accident. He explained that his dog was particular and only liked his own ball so I made sure to always get his ball back from my dogs. It's a bit of work juggling three dogs and four balls but it's not this guy's fault that my dogs can snatch up a ball in .0003 seconds. My dogs were the only guilty ones here, his dog would snatch up any ball nearby but would then immediately spit it back out once he realized it had cooties on it.
After a few minutes of this call juggling I decided it was time to go. I do not enjoy retrieving as much as my dogs do. Just as my last dog clears the gate to leave the beach I hear someone calling after me. It was my ball patrol friend. He told me that one of my dogs must have his dog's ball because he threw the ball out in "the ocean" and his dog refused to go get it. Obviously, the next logical thing to do would be to track down the dog walker. If I had the nerve/time/patience to track down every dog owner at the park that may have potentially stolen a toy of mine, I could have saved literally hundreds of dollars. Maybe even Thousands!
So anyways, to get the taste test of balls set up just right I have all three of my dogs on leash, and managed to have them all cough up at their orange rubber chuck it balls. The guy takes the first ball I hand him and throws it out into the water about 10 yards. The dog swims out to the ball, grabs it, spits it back out. "whoops, guess that wasn't it" the guy laughs. I'm starting to feel like the retriever again. Good thing we have two more rounds to go.
Meanwhile, the ball connoisseur is swimming out into "the ocean" and retrieving the original ball in question. He brings it all the way back to the store and then drops it for another one of the balls that my dogs gave up. I was too preoccupied with that combined 250 pounds of leashed dog who were trying to get in on the ball buffet to notice which ball the dog actually decided it was his. Whichever one it was it only lasted for about 50 yards before he gave it up again and tried to start the whole game over. As much fun as it was, my least dogs and I were ready to move on.
I tried very hard to stay pleasant about the whole situation, reassuring him that this was all a part of the fun of working with dogs. He was very nice and pleasant, and no doubt a very devoted dog owner.
Bottom line, what's yours is yours and if your dog wants his own ball then you have every right to get that ball for your dog. I just wish your dog could accurately detect that sacred ball, and in an ideal world it wouldn't involve 3 other balls. Maybe just one other to narrow it down from would be helpful. And if your dog is able to detect his own scent on a ball so well, couldn't he just go ahead and put some smell on there that will deter any other dog? That would be really helpful. Thanks.