Thursday, January 24, 2013

Use what youir mama gave you

I was trying to think how best to exploit Rockets desire to climb. I don't think he would be a good second story man and I'm also certain he does not want to wash windows, although his ears would be very well suited for polishing windows post wash... But, if his ears got wet they would also get cold and I don't want that! He is the most luxurious ears, think of a thicker, warmer, nicer velvet and you almost have his ears.

His ears are fabulous but they are also very fragile and in the winter they are susceptible to snapping! I haven't actually heard of this happening but I suspect it does and it gets covered up! I can't face his ears freezing! We can't have this!  I mean what would happen if an ear just shattered?He would be all uneven and its not like he has a lot of hair that could be styled to make it less noticeable.

So I started to think. What can I do to stave this off? Do they make ear muffs for dogs?

They do but would my dog wear them? Would he understand? I think he would not and that he would tear then off and eat them before they had any chance to prove their worth to him. I think he would actully rather have cold ears than wear ear muffs. Expesially in tarten, perhaps in a sedate solid, no, these are not for him.

Another problem would be his head shape. It is not friendly to head wear. Its more friendly than say, a Russian Wolfhounds Beak-like head for example but  still he is not built for head gear.  I don't know what the original German breeders thought about making their ears so brittle but there must have been some very good hunting-centric reason, perhaps they resist getting caught on brambles or they dry quickly, who knows. It was a design decision. The closest that they make is

Head-tube, which if he would agree to wear it like the weim featured in the picture, would be great and I would feel warm too, important in dog clothes which are only about half bought to as a tool to keep the animal warm but to instead  are really purchased to make the owner feel warm, its an important distinction. This gets bonus points because A) The model weim and B) it looks masculine.  A lot of dog clothing is decidedly not-masculine and then to add insult to injury, designed and built for little dogs. I think instead of investing in this dog hat you could also cut the leg of teen boy sized rack pants or the waist section of a childs sweat pants. Hmmm. Or a pair of mens briefs?

Anyway. I need to do something with Rockets skill set. So I did some research and discovered that a lot the activities that are included in  canine agility are also skills that he possesses. Score! Its also something we could get started in for not a huge amount of money, should we turn out to be agility dilettantes.

On the upside, you can buy inexpensive starter kits, on the downside, they do not include the fun stuff that I think he would love and that do not exists in the wild where I am, however they do have some of the equipment and would help us start.

I looked  at a lot of pictures of the equipment and tried to think how I could DIY some  of the parts. I remembered that I all ready have a tunnel and I decided that would try this out. Looking back, it was not the best idea. The tunnel was made for cats, not dogs, and I should have done less looking and more reading to see how large the tunnels are before I tried to put Rocket into on. The one I have is about eighteen inches wide and about seven feet long, the agility tunnels are about twenty-four inches wide and most of the "open tunnels" are about five feet long. He did go through it once but I am afraid he might not want to do it again. Sigh.

But, I have faith, he's fallen before and always gotten right back on the horse, I just have to make sure the next time we're on that horse that its the right size.

There might be issues with Canine Agility though, there are no CA groups in my area and there are also no permanent agility course around here either. Hmm, more research is needed. I do think this might be fun to pursue though, both for me and for Rocket.

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