Ball Launcher Is A Hit for Client & His Dog
Our Brighton & District Branch was recently approached by a disabled client who needed help to keep his active dog entertained.
Due to his disability, this client was no longer able to throw a tennis ball for his dog, Ted. This left Ted frustrated and under-exercised, and the client feeling upset that they were no longer able to interact with their pet in the same way as before.
Thankfully, our volunteers came up with an ingenious solution – a remote controlled ball launcher, which the client was able to operate. This enabled the client to react to the dog’s actions in the same way that you might when throwing a ball by hand. He might delay the throw to increase the anticipation, or send it in different directions to keep the dog guessing as to which way it will go!
After a prototype had been tested with the engineers’ own dog, a version was tried out with the client and their pet. This revealed a few minor issues, firstly making sure that the launcher could move easily on the client’s uneven paved patio. But more importantly, ensuring that the launcher would still work once the ball had been returned several times, making it wet with dog saliva! Unfortunately attempts to swap the ball for a fresh, dry ball were unsuccessful as Ted preferred the original used ball!
Once the engineer had gone away and made slight modifications to account for these issues, the final product was delivered. Ted quickly got the hand of using it, understanding that for the ball to be “thrown” he had to return it to the launcher rather than directly to the client. The result was hours of fun, a satisfied client and a very happy dog – as evidenced by his excitement and tail wag. The best feedback possible!
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