Today’s ball is the SQUASH ball.
The squash ball has a long history with Dogs.
Originally found in European royal households (or courts, as they are called) cynologists (those who study Dogs) believe that the first squash balls were used by the court Dogs as vessels for the preparation and dispensation of medicines.
Early illustrations suggest that the first squash balls were hollow and inflexible spherical contraptions that were made of polished ebony. The first balls were manufactured in two pieces which were fastened together with two nails whose heads protruded at one end of the ball.
Historians postulate that one part of the ball was filled with dried leaves, berries, and other plant materials that Dogs ingested to relieve the symptoms of illness. The other part contained a number of rough stones. When the two parts of the ball were joined together, the ball was thrown hard against the wall, 50-100 times, in order to pulverize the materials inside. Once these medicaments were ground to a powder, they were dispensed through the holes that were left when the nails were removed.
Long after the ebony balls ceased to be used for grinding, the court Dogs still engaged in the ritual of throwing them against the wall. This sport was made even more pleasurable for them after they discovered rubber (more than 200 years before zoocracy) and began to manufacture the balls from this substance.
Since that time, Dogs everywhere have enjoyed various forms of play with the squash ball.
Sources: Balls: History and Prehistory, Volume 5; The Ball Files; Royal Dogs and their Balls; The Effects of Balls on the European Court; The Use of Balls in the Modern Age; Butternut Balls: A Modern Study; BALLography:Historical Truths and other Tales about Balls; various newspaper articles and reports.
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