German shepherds are bred to be rule-followers. Jake, being more of the Loki type, is not as strict as his predecessor, Louie, was. With Louie a rule was a rule was a rule and nobody broke team on his watch.
Of course, Louie wasn’t allowed to play basketball because he was forever guilty of major injury-causing over-the-back fouls, hurling himself into the air for rebounds without regard to his safety, and he popped basketballs with regularity with his cast iron teeth. The basketball court is riddled with Louie’s remnants, which Jake, creative tool-using primate/dog hybrid that he is, makes good use of.
Jake, on the other hand, plays a gentleman’s game, at least with me. He never commits an over-the-back foul, and he only goes up in the air if he knows he can land balanced on his back legs. (He catches the ball with his front legs and drops it to the ground.)
So, basketball rules according to Jake the German shepherd:
1. Mom is a better shooter than dad (heh-heh), but mom is a girl so I play less aggressively.
2. If mom swishes the ball, she gets to continue to shoot until she either banks it off the backboard or misses and then all bets are off. I have carte blanche to steal, dribble, and body-up to my doggie heart’s content.
3. When mom whines– C’mon Jake, you’re a ball hog– I pass her the ball.
4. If mom is a ball-hog, I drop the popped basketball I’m carrying (which I use as an extra appendage) and fly through the lane, knock the ball from her hands with my nose and dribble rings around her, making her look a fool.
5. The wall and the fence are a dog’s best friend. I play the carom perfectly. (It’s like indoor soccer. Ever played?)
6. My favorite part of the game? When the ball bounces over the barricade and out of the court. I get to dribble around the yard, mom chasing after me, until I decide it’s time to take the ball back to the court. I graciously let her toss it back over the barricade.
7. Playing with dad? Now that’s a whole other ballgame. I don’t pull any punches. We get it on, man. No holds barred. Street ball. Down and dirty. This game is not for wienie dogs. It’s for the big dogs. Be warned, Lucy!