You can lead a Duck-Toller to water, but you cant’ make ’em eat.

A few months ago, I wrote how skinny Tipper was, after she had run away for 24 days.    She had lost 10 lbs (30% of her body weight) and was a scrawny 22 lbs.   But not to worry, within 2 weeks, she had fattened up and regained all her weight, and was back to normal.

But my sister informs me that Tipper is down 5 lbs. again.  She’s all skin and tendons.

But it’s not that she’s unhealthy.

It’s because it’s summer, and she lives by the river.

And Tipper is a Duck-Toller.

And Duck-Tollers like to spend every waking moment like this:

Throw the ball, please.

Throw it Please

Throw the ball, please.

Throw it Please 2

Throw the ball, please.

Throw it Please 3







Bring it Back_2


Bring it Back 1


Bring it Back_3

Jesus, the dog has no off-switch.

She’ll literally do this for HOURS.  Especially if a large crowd is visiting for the weekend, and there’s always a sucker willing participant available to toss her beloved Ikea ball.

Which she will retrieve, again and again.

Forget about going to the bathroom.    Or sleeping.   Or even EATING.

Because THIS  is what she does.

This is her PURPOSE in LIFE.

My sister will give me shit, sometimes.  “NO MORE playing!  Tipper’s had ENOUGH!…”

But how can you stop playing, really?   I mean…LOOK how happy she is…

Happy Tipper

And look how PATHETIC she looks, when you’re done for the day, and you tell her it’s time to go inside.

Time Out All Done _2

That dog ain’t stupid.   She’s got that sad look patented down.

Because she KNOWS Uncle Friar will soon cave in and start the game again.

In the mean time, she gets fed puppy chow and raw eggs to increase her caloric intake, until further notice.

Or at least until the water freezes.


PS.  **  Thanks to Friar’s Sister, who took most of these photos **
(On account of I was too busy playing with the dog to man the camera).

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31 Comments on “You can lead a Duck-Toller to water, but you cant’ make ’em eat.”

  1. Karen JL Says:

    That dog is *way* too cute for her own good. 🙂

    I mean, how can Uncle Friar resist that face??

  2. davinahaisell Says:

    Now that’s one happy pooch (except for the last pic of course — but even still… there is a glint in those eyes that’s not quite about sadness…) Wow, this dog can actually fly! She just needs fair warning and time to carb load before Uncle Friar visits… that’s all. So, so cute.
    @ Friar’s sister, thanks for the pics.

  3. Kelly Says:


    She’s the best. I love the close-up of her in the water—it reminds me that with different training, the duck you just shot would always be retrieved with care. She’s joyful in all the rest, but she looks so serious while following her destiny!

    (I’m glad it’s an IKEA ball.)

    She’s lucky she has an Uncle Friar who’s as incorrigible as she is. 🙂



  4. Friar Says:

    Tipper and Uncle Friar have a special bond…we feed off each other, when it comes to this game. Sometimes I think she likes to watch me throw as much as I like to see her retrieve.

    My sister sometimes also has to remind me: “Friar, Time out. ALL DONE!”

    It wasn’t totally my fault. Some friends were there, and their kids also took a shine to Tipper. As a result, there was always SOMEONE willing to throw the ball. Stupid Daug had a non-stop workout for several hours.

    We try to give her treats, but if it’s playtime, she’s more interest in THAT.

    Oh, those IKEA balls are VERY special. There’s something about the size and the texture of the rubber that Tipper obsesses on. She’ll shun all other toys (frisbees, sticks, any other ball) if those special IKEA ones are available.

    Sad thing, thoug, is IKEA stopped making them. My Sister stocked up and bought the last few dozen. And they’re slowly getting lost or falling apart.

    Sometimes they break in two. But Tipper won’t give up. She’ll play “retrieve the hemisphere”.

  5. Love it! Love all dogs! All dogs are good dogs! Duck Tollers are really high energy, aren’t they? My ex has one and we thought she was just “leotarded.” (We say that now, it’s more p.c.). But they have their own personalities that are just a little more hyperactive than most. She really is a nice dog, she just needs to be assertively reminded to calm the hell down! 🙂

  6. Friar Says:

    With Duck Tollers, I’ve read “Better behaviour through exhaustion”.

    True enough. After hours of playing, Tipper finally settles down after about 9:00 PM. For those few hours, she’s a very quiet and affectionate dog. Almost like a normal dog.

    That only lasts until morning, after her batteries have been recharged, and she goes ape-shit all over again.

    I suspect she has a nuclear reactor in her stomach. Because there’s NO WAY you can get that much energy by metabolizing a few handfulls of kibble.

  7. Nancy Says:

    LOVE seeing this and knowing how back to her normal self she is. Oh, but is she really *normal*? We often talk about that.

  8. XUP Says:

    Thanks for sneaking your hairy man-boob into this photo montage….

  9. Friar Says:

    Yep…she’s back to being about as normal as you can get (for a Duck-Toller.)


    …and THANK YOU for pointing that out to everyone.

  10. feefifoto Says:

    What a splendid and happy dog.

  11. Brett Legree Says:

    Give her a good steak (raw, of course) – if she chooses the ball over the steak, you know she’s nuts…

  12. Friar Says:


    What an eloquent description! (Actually, I can’t think of a better way to put it!) 🙂

    Well, I haven’t seen her turn down steak. But she was turing down those fake bacon strips, in order to play.

    (That’s pretty deranged enough).

  13. Brett Legree Says:

    Yeah, good old “facon”, gotta love it.

  14. Karen JL Says:

    I’ve never facon. 😉

  15. Brett Legree Says:

    @Karen JL,

    Heh heh… 😉

  16. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Oh goody, a post about a dog. NEXT!

  17. Brett Legree Says:


    Is that what it was about? I thought we were talking about sex.

  18. Karen JL Says:

    *Insert doggie-style joke here.*

    (Heh, heh…I said “insert”)

  19. Karen JL Says:

    …and there was some mention of Friar’s hairy man-boob.

  20. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Dog, bacon, sex.

    I think I got it summarized.

  21. Friar Says:

    Oh, THERE you are. (I was worried..howcum Eyeteaguy didn’t make a snarky comment about post?)

    But..ahhh. There it is.

    All’s right with the universe.

    @Karen and Brett

    (Poor Friar’s Mom..what’s she to think if she reads this?)

  22. Kyddryn Says:

    Poor Friar – it’s Hell when the cute ones turn that look on you, isn’t it?

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  23. Friar Says:


    Oh, that Tipper knows a sucker when she sees one.

    (But she really DOES get soooo SAD when playtime is over!)

  24. Kelly Says:


    Come to think of it, I know how to do that look very well. I totally pictured the look on me when you said that. ROFL!!



  25. Jazz Says:

    I want a duck troller. Oh how I do…

  26. Friar Says:

    @Kelly + Kyddryn

    I bet you women practice that look on men, to twist them around your fingers to get your way.

    They’re great dogs, but they have LOTS of energy, and need LOTS of excercise. Something to think about, if you’re the stay-at-home-and-relax type of person.

    Here’s a great link, that describes Tollers perfectly.

  27. Kelly Says:

    Hehehe. Myself, I think I learned it when I was two or three, and it worked so well I kept it.


  28. Friar Says:


    You females are all alike! (Including Tipper!) 🙂

  29. Kelly Says:

    BWAH ha ha. Only knowing that you don’t really mean that prevents me from getting out my pitchfork and hunting through Splat Creek for you.

  30. Friar Says:


    Well, don’t tell some of the ladies and XUP’s blog..or they WILL come out with the pitchforks.

  31. Hal Says:

    Looks like my duck dog. I live at the beach and if Im not carefull; she runs to the edge of the water and sits till I go throw her dummy.

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