Keep the focus on the ball.
Back when Molly was only a year or so old, we started playing on the field that now only happens to be across the street. On this field Molly was able to socialize and meet a number of new friends. Two of these friends were Abby, a manic black flat-coat retriever, who still happens to be quite manic, and Carter, a placid chocolate lab, who at the moment is anything but, at least when he is outside.
Over the years I've become quite close to the owners of these dogs, and as a result we often take turns taking care of each other's dogs. Molly goes crazy with glee when she realizes she is being dropped off at Abby's for a few hours, and of course Carter is now jokingly referred to as her boyfriend. The only problem is, over the last year or so, Carter has become increasingly more cranky and is basically an arsehole when it comes to other dogs; especially other dogs that want to bother with Molly. It was only the other day that he and Dawn, his owner, were out on the field and ran into another chocolate lab that was a little on the cranky side. Dawn was later telling me that the other dog's owner was relieved that her dog wasn't the only one with a foul temperament, when Molly and I walked on to the field. Dawn was quick to inform the woman that now would be a good time time to vacate, as here comes Carter's woman and he just doesn't deal well with other dogs coming near her. And its true, Carter is manic over tennis balls and Molly. What's so surprising though, is that he is an absolute teddy bear when he is in the house, whether that be ours, or his own.
Today on the field he got into this horrible fight with Mac, another neighbourhood dog who is normally rather easygoing. It was a nightmare to watch, and we were all desperately trying to break them up. Carter and I both ended up a bit bloody, and I don't know who was more shaken up in the end, Molly or Carter's Mom. If didn't know him and love him so well, I might have to put a stop to his seeing my Molly ;)