Elka finds this fascinating, of course, to see an object of her acute interest to be used in such a different manner from the one to which she is accustomed. It's especially amusing for me when summer is in full swing, as there are apparently group tennis lessons for children, so not only are there lots of tennis balls, but also lots of kids, some of whom are using comically large tennis balls, at least until they get the hang of it, I guess.
So, at the park, Elka stared like a creeper at a Japanese couple, who (to my relief) seemed amused by her, not intimidated or upset. In hindsight, it might have been cute if I had her "bow". Or maybe it would not have been and it's good I didn't. The world may never know. We also sometimes see a pair of Indian ladies who are literally swathed in white cloth and always walking. While they never want to pet Elka or actually interact with her, we've seen them enough that they smile and gesture hello, and this last time, one of them blew Elka a kiss and said hello to her too.
But, international relations aside, that wasn't the little bit of mischief. Or perhaps shenanigans? It was innocuous, certainly, just a bit of fun!
See, after we saw the couple, we proceeded merrily through the park, practicing recall and smelling trees. Well, Elka smelled the trees, intimately; I did not. Under one tree, what before our wondering eyes should appear? A new-looking, entirely unattended, tennis ball! Elka didn't even notice it at first, but boy, was she happy when she did!
She picked the ball up, bowing after all, and then the back end went down too.
There was some nosing to be had. And some pouncing and chewing.
Was that a bird? Will it take my tennis ball?
We walked a little bit, with her carrying it, and then there was more chewing.
After we left the park, I ended up putting the ball in my pocket, because I didn't want her carrying it to a point and then dropping it on the sidewalk, where it would surely bounce into the road.