This is one of Ted's balls. He has a boxful on top of the fridge. Balls, Bonios and going for walks are his favourite things but if he had to choose between the three, he would definitely opt for chasing a ball. While out on a walk.
This is the hedge close to which I threw his ball this morning - so close, in fact, that it bounced over the top and into someone's garden.
'Never mind,' I said to Ted, 'look, I brought another one with me,' and continued to walk around the park with my neighbour, Cher, and her chocolate brown labrador, Buster, who sadly has to stay on his lead because he slipped a disc in his back a couple of years ago.
'Ted? Ted?! TED?!!!' This is me realising that Ted has suddenly disappeared. 'Oh, look, Cher, there's his bum sticking out of the hedge, you can see his tail waving. Talk about persistent. Ted! Come here!'
This is the hole in the hawthorn hedge through which Ted is disappearing.
'Bugger, he's got through!' I say, breaking into a lumbering run, but Ted is already letting himself back into the park, his tennis ball in his mouth.
This is the gate through which Ted let himself back into the park.
But hold it just one moment. Let's take a closer look at the hole in the hedge through which Ted squeezed to get his ball.
It's a hedge all right, but there's also a sturdy wall and well-maintained, municipal railings, the uprights of which are no further apart than the width of my hand across the knuckles - about three and a half inches. The gap between the wall and the bottom of the railings is about one and a half inches. And Ted doesn't know he can jump. Even if he did, Cher and I would have seen him. But he didn't and neither did we.
So how did Ted retrieve his ball? The only explanation I can think of is that his wagging white-tipped tail is really a magic wand ...