Thursday, July 16, 2009

New NTI Global Tunnel

Our new tunnel arrived today. It is our third tunnel. It is a 20 ft yellow standard tunnel with white binding. It is really pretty.

Our previous tunnel was an NTI Global Tuff Tunnel in blue. We had it 2.5 years. I keep the tunnel out all year and it held up really well. However, when the Longmont CO humane society decided to put together an agility yard for the shelter dogs I knew where my tunnel was going. I love the idea of shelter dogs getting to run through a tunnel to give them some fun and mental stimulation while in the shelter.

When I called NTI to initiate my new tunnel purchase I mentioned the Longmont Humane Society's need for a chute. They offered to send one out that same day as a donation! Kudo's to them for helping out a worthy organization. Below is their web site if you are interested in their agility products.

I highly recommend them as a repeat customer and as someone who likes to support organizations that participate in charity.

Along with my purchase they sent out an issue of Dog Sport magazine. I'm really impressed with it and I think I'll put in for a subscription.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weave poles that toppled over

We started with the stick in the ground style weave poles but those just wouldn't stay upright. So we bought some that were connected via PVC pipe. However our dog is a very aggressive weaver so the poles came apart on a regular basis. This year we decided to cement them together with PVC cement and added longer stabilizing legs to some of the junctions. The old stick in the ground weave poles were cut in half to make longer legs.

Here are the poles with an old stick in the ground pole cut in half and used to elongate two of the stabilizing legs. Now my girl can really plow through them without them coming down on her. These will be deployed with my other set of six out in the yard. However I wanted to show them here on the brick where you can see the stabilizing legs.

Recovered table

It is summer here in Colorado so we put our pool up. Last year we put our agility table in service as a dog entrance to the pool platform. However the outdoor carpet had degraded so needed to be replaced. Here is a picture of the new covered table. Hopefully this time we picked an outdoor carpet without a backing that would decay in the sun.

Inside the pool is a plastic storage bin filled with river rocks so the dogs can pull themselves onto it to exit the pool.

Blossom demonstrating how to enter the pool via the table.

About to take the plunge.

New displacable tire

My first tire was made of a pool noodle taped together with duct tape and hung in this frame. Two neighborhood boys jumped through it and tore it to pieces. I then made one out of the very popular drain pipe. However, I worried my dog would hurt herself when she hit it.

Recently someone on my agility equipment yahoo group posted links of dogs getting hung up in the tire. I decided to redo my tire with pool noodles again. Hopefully this design would displace if my dog were to misjudge the jump and hit it.

Here is a picture of my drain pipe tire:

When my dog clipped this tire you heard the clunk.

Here is a picture of my new displacable tire:

If my dog clips this one it is very soft. If it is a hard hit, the pool noodles should pull out of the sleeves. However, there is something about a pool noodle tire that invites people to jump through it. I assembled this and asked my husband to test it to see how much force it would take to displace it. He proceeded to try to jump through it, with the sleeve on the right tearing. You can see where I patched the tear with orange colored duct tape.

The frame on my tire is very oversized but the tire diameter is regulation. To change the height on this tire you slide the bungee cords through the sleeves and adjust the plastic chain on top. In this design the chain is not really needed as the tire hangs properly without it.

There is more resistance to the noodle coming out of the sleeves than I would like but I think if the dog actually hit it, it would displace without bringing the frame down. That is what happened when my husband tried to go through.

Introducing Princess and Blossom

Here are Princess and Blossom.

They enjoy agility, although at 10, Princess (the black lab mix) doesn't do much any more unless I pull a piece of equipment out of the basement that she hasn't seen in a while. Then she shows off.

Blossom is 4.5 years old and loves to see anything new come out and enthusiastically goes through everything that is out. We do not compete but have fun in the backyard.