July 2, 1995

Games Siberians Play – Catch


Nikita was my first Siberian and, as such, taught me many things. One of the very important things was that a Sibe, when bored, will invent their own games. For example, Nikita was a master at catch.

Now, mind you, not fetch. Fetch implied that she was to bring back something that you threw. Never, never, never would Nikita bring something back. But catch was an absolute blast.

Amazingly, I found catch somewhat boring since I would throw something, Nikita would catch it, and then she would run to the other end of the yard. Then I would have to find something else to throw.

So, since I would not always play, Nikita played her own games of catch. Of course, that included catch the squirrel, or possum, or raccoon, or . . . But I was referring to the non-living objects. As an example, she would throw a branch in the air and catch it. She could do that for hours. Apparently catch and throw it in the air again was far more entertaining then catch and bring it back to the person who threw it.

One afternoon, I pulled into the driveway from work. In the backyard, Nikita was running around and playing catch. She threw the object high in the air and then caught it as it came back to earth – CLACK!

Clack? Branches don’t go clack. Dirt clods don’t go clack. Even squirrels don’t go clack (though maybe they go “Ack!”).


I look carefully and she has a round object and is heaving it several feet in the air and then . . . CLACK!

Is that crazy dog catching a rock? I go racing into the yard with visions of dental bills dancing in my head.


Cool – new game – keep the object away from your owner AND play catch.

CLACK. Run, run, run. CLACK. Run, run, run. CLACK. Run, run, run. CLACK.

Finally, she zigs when the object zags and it falls to the ground in a thud. I just beat her to it only to discover one very dizzy, very tired turtle.

The turtle was released unharmed into a Siberian free zone.

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