Horse Apples and Playing Fetch

One early visits here my wife noticed in Rusty and April’s pasture what looked like tennis balls all over the place. We learned that they are actually ‘horse apples’. It turns out that they are commonly called Osage Oranges but that they are part of the mulberry family. This picture shows why people call them oranges.


Our dogs took a while to discover them but now that they have, it is game on! Our younger lab, the yellow one named Daisy, likes to carry one around in her mouth so when we down by the pond I decided to find out if they floated. With Daisy at the ready, sitting in the stay position, I threw one into the pond. As they are fairly dense fruits, it initially sank. Then to our amazement it resurfaced. I cast her off, as we say in the retrieving world, and into the water she went. It took her a couple of attempts to grab it as it bounced away and then would sink again. While she swam in circles looking for it I backed up onto a rise so when it would rise again I could direct her towards the ‘apple’. She finally figured out the trick on holding onto to it and returned to me. After one or two more throws we have it figured out.

Now she sits on the rise above the pond with me and holds until the apple surfaces and I send her off. She does love a good challenge so it is a lot of fun for both of us.


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