Max throws the ball for Maisie

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Max can roll a tennis ball, a monumental effort that will roll the ball about ten cm away. Maisie, the honourable kelpie is not dismayed. She will retrieve the ball from its small distance with enthusiasm, it is proper work, it will do for now. Max is just 11 months old and Maisie knows that puppies take time.

The tennis ball is no longer clean but Max is not dismayed, he has no interest in orderliness – irrelevant to the growing life. He will lean over and urge the ball away with all of his 11 months of mobility and strength. When it rolls the correct and tiny distance he and Maisie are pleased. She gently noses it back again. They are tremendous to each other. He will do it again and again. Each repeat is a repeat of life, brilliant, wealthy and exact.