Almost every day, we see a black Lab and her Dad in Princes Street Gardens. Her personality reminds me so much of one of our dear, departed Labs. This Lab and her Dad almost never agree about when it’s time to end the game of fetch. The first time we saw them, they were heading out of the Gardens, towards St. Cuthbert’s churchyard. The closer Dad drew to the gate, the slower the dog walked, slinking down as though tracking prey, ball in mouth, her eyes fixed on the back of his head. He couldn’t have failed to feel the holes bored by her laser gaze. Dad disappeared through the gate, out of sight behind the stone wall of the churchyard. The dog stopped and stood stalk still, following him with her eyes. He called out to her (barely audible, so I couldn’t hear the dog’s name). Obviously, he had also stopped and was looking at her as he called because she made a point of opening her mouth to let the ball fall on the ground, briefly glancing down at it as it landed, then re-engaging her gaze on her Dad. She couldn’t have been more clear in her request. He called again. She stood her ground. He must have started to walk away, because she scooped up the ball and trotted after him, obviously deciding that her dear old Dad was too stunned to be out on his own without her to watch out for him. Every day that we see them, we see a variation of this exchange. Today, when Dad was ready to end the game, she refused to surrender the ball. Dad turned away from her to take a treat from a pouch – as if she didn’t know what he was doing! After all, she’s spent years training him! The moment he turned back to her, treat in hand, she dropped the ball.