BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's hard to imagine how a simple game of Frisbee can give a man so much pleasure.
You see, we got Leo about 15 months ago. He's a Catahoula Leopard Dog, the state dog of Louisiana. But really, just like all Catahoulas, they are nothing more than mutts. Leo is the kindest, gentlest dog I've ever known. Just a big 60 pound baby.
When we first rescued him from the Starkville shelter, he was a scrawny 39 pounds. But he's filled out nicely, and is also powerful to boot. I would not want to be on the receiving end of a bite from Leo. Too bad he wasn't at home the day our house was broken into a few months ago. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall, and see the burglar's face when he came eye to eye with Leo.
But back to the point of the simple game of Frisbee. To be kind, Leo is not the brightest bulb in the pack. Sweet, but a tad bit slow. But that's OK. Because when he accomplishes a task, I'm so proud of him.
When we first started playing Frisbee, Leo had no clue. The sphere would literally smack him in the face. Time after time. So one day last week, I was determined to teach him how to catch the Frisbee. We worked for about three hours in the back yard, tossing the Frisbee, and watching Leo get smacked in the face.
But suddenly, the bulb brightened. Leo caught it. Several more throws, and several more smacks in the face. But after awhile, Leo caught on. Now he catches the Frisbee nine out of ten times.
He jumps high in the air, and snatches the sphere from the sky. And when he does, he knows he's done something special. I yell praise and clap my hands for him. He is so proud with that Frisbee hanging from his mouth. He prances around the yard like a horse, and then returns the Frisbee to me.
I toss it again, he catches it. Over and over we play the game. And I swear, every time Leo catches it, I can see him smiling. I know I am. And Leo taught me something as well. The smallest pleasures in life can bring the greatest joy.
Thanks Leo. You're my big boy.