Faith, Trust, & Foster Pups

Helping dogs on the road to forever, forever finding ourselves as we walk that road with them.

Balton Discovers His Inner Pele


It’s no real secret that Balton loves to run and play with his doggy friends at the dog park. But toss an odd stray tennis ball and Balton may give you one or two rounds of fetch, if you’re lucky (though, it’s still a marked improvement over Ollie’s idea of fetch – which typically involves running after a tossed ball, checking to make sure it landed, and triumphantly returning with the good news that the ball is dead and not going anywhere on his watch).

Enter the dog park soccer ball. Some kind soul had left it behind, and we stumbled on it during our most recent dog park excursion. Nick and I gave a few swift kicks of the ball back and forth to see how the boys would respond to it, and Balton swiftly decided he wanted in.

It took some time for Balton to figure out that soccer typically involves a bit of back and forth play, as is evidenced through our dog park video journal, which illustrates our dear boy doing little more than parading around with the ball in his mouth like a trophy he had earned.

After some effort in encouraging Balton to drop the ball (and also learning to make a point not to teach him that, no, we will not tug the soccer ball out of his mouth if he wants to keep playing), he caught on pretty quick and chased that ball over and over and over again across the dog park, until he was so tired that he couldn’t do it anymore. We also practiced a little impulse control with sits and waits. In channeling his inner Pele and discovering how much more fun fetch is with a soccer ball, it was really enjoyable to see Balton (and Nick, too) enthusiastically engaging in this game of surprise dog park fun.  He still doesn’t really get that soccer is a “hands free” game, but we’ll work on coaching his dribbling next time.


If Balton was aiming to earn himself a new toy out of this experience, he succeeded. Thanks to Big Lots having them for $10 – Balton now has a soccer ball to call his own, which we will be happy to pass along with him to his forever family. 🙂

For more information on adopting your own canine version of David Beckham, email or visit


Author: faithtrustnpups

Faith, Trust, & Foster Pups is a combination blog for animal welfare, humane education/positive training, recognizing the beautiful bond that exists between pets and their people, and other fun stuff. I share information about adoptable pets in the DC metro area, promote animal rescue and resources to support adopters and fosters, and share stories and lessons related to the dogs I care for. Much of my writing is for especially my "foster failure" with some specific fear-based issues. In an effort to help understand often wonderful, sometimes challenging dogs like him better, I learn to understand myself. Together, we share our stories, and walk together, leash in hand, and in building faith and trust within one another and within ourselves.

2 thoughts on “Balton Discovers His Inner Pele

  1. Ollie’s idea of fetch sounds remarkably similar to Lily’s. Love the photo of Balton standing triumphantly over his ball while Ollie ignores it completely!


  2. I always find myself amused when Balton finds any activity especially entertaining and engaging, and Ollie gives us a look of “do you believe this guy?” – you should see his face when we place Balton’s Manners Minder at the top of the steps and have him do stair runs for his dinner.


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