Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Trash repurposed

Although my particular dog situation might be best served by living out in the country somewhere miles away from anyone else, I do have the good fortune of living in a suburb that is more mellow and diverse than some and that is characterized by spacious yards, large trees, and tolerant neighbors. 


One of my favorite neighbors is the daycare down the street, where all the kiddies go out on a walk with their caretakers a few times a day and walk past our house. They smile and wave at the big doggies looking out at them from behind my fence, and aren't scared at all. 


They also throw away cool stuff on occasion. My buddy Francine, who has some dog walking and training clients on my street, scored a nifty little plastic kiddie castle one day. She tossed it into her Ford and brought it home to use with dogs on confidence building and agility, but her partner Karen thought it was a trashy looking piece of plastic crap and wanted it gone.


Good thing my backyard was handy.  


Kiddie play stuff can make great dog equipment. Sturdy enough to withstand a bevy of toddlers and built for safety, this sort of trashy plastic stuff is just perfect for the kind of dogs who love to run, jump, and climb. 


I've always wanted to set up some agility and other dog play equipment in my yard, but didn't want to put expensive high-quality stuff out there knowing the treatment it would undergo. 





The dogs love their kiddie castle and it gives me another way to tire them out. They love to climb up on it, jump over it, and go through the tire that Francine ingeniously attached. 




I can hold up a stick and get Sandy to jump endlessly over the little plastic step. A little refinement and I'm sure I can chain all sorts of fun behaviors. 

The possibilities are endless!

23 comments:

  1. thats so cool, i thought of doing that before but didnt dare cos i thought i was just being childish wanting to get storm a little castle to sit on top of and survey his world but i am sooooo gonna do it now. fantastic idea :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a great idea, I would love to set some of that stuff up in my yard, of course I would need to make sure it wasn't too close to the fence to make sure a certain lab didn't figure out a way over. :-)

    I love that little Sandy!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh I wish I had space in my yard for a plastic castle.... though my dogs get enough energy jumping up and down the retaining wall and weaving around all the other junk

    ReplyDelete
  4. hmmmm...was just about ready to head over to craigslist to check on toddler play equipment to make my own backyard plastic junk agility set. Then I thought about how the Hubster, King of Backyards, would react. Laid-back about his man-space, he is not. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Kirsten, great addition to the backyard. I think that you need to add a pirate flag to the highest point on the playset.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great stuff! I used to take Dakotah to the playground years ago and have him practice agility on the various equipment. (Early in the morning, of course, before any kids were there.) He loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well done..great addition to the yard for the dogs to play and have fun on!

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hmmmm...my mom's all, "Oooo, Mayzie! Isn't that a great idea?" And I'm all, "Okay, that just looks skeery, mom." And then she's all, "But it would help you build your confidence." And I'm all, "I think my confidence is just fine, thank you."

    But your dogs sure do look like they're having fun on it!

    Wiggles & Wags,
    Mayzie

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to have this in our backyard for Izzy but we just don't have enough space!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a fun idea. Looks like the kids love it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is awesome! I will now be on the lookout for any play equipment on trash day!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful. A rescue colleague of mine, when she was training, would have us in the park with two sets of kiddie gyms; Charlie Beagle loved to go down the slide - he was a hoot! Both had swinging bridges which almost everyone did fine. Indeed, you are blessed with this toy, er, training equipment.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is so cool. Great way to recycle!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great idea! I would have never thought about this so thanks for sharing! Good photos of the pups enjoying the equipment.

    Nina. Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nifty find. You need to teach them to go down the slide!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great idea. A lot of Georgia's toys were lost items she found in the park. Nothing as fancy and big as your trash though :) Your backyard is enormous!

    ReplyDelete
  17. that's an awesome score! we find fun stuff like old fencing and barrels for our "recycled garden" but I should probably be thinking about ways to add stimulation and enrichment to our dog's part of the yard!

    ReplyDelete
  18. p.s. I tagged you!
    http://volunteers4paws.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/weve-been-tagged-by-one-pibbles-wish/

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm sure they loooooove the new addition to the backyard...My pitbull Motley would Love it!!!

    Also I have chosen your blog to get the Leibster Award!!! To accept the award and get info about it please visit http://thepitbullpalace.blogspot.com/2012/02/thanks-for-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Kirsten,

    I hope you get to read this comment. I somehow am not able to see all the posts that you've made after this one. This morning, I saw that Sandy has found a home YAY! ...on my GR but when I clicked on the title, it said the page does not exist. Is anyone else having this problem or is it only me? I AM having computer and connection problems but you're the only blog I have trouble accessing. Love reading your posts so would like to fix this!

    Hope to hear from you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Georgia--

      Don't worry, this is the last post you should be seeing! The one about Sandy is scheduled for tomorrow--it was visible for a bit earlier today because I needed to publish it to get the url, to link it to another post scheduled for later this week! There's probably a better way to do that, but I don't know it :)

      Thanks for your dedicated commenting and your patience as I slacken a bit...as life speeds up, blogging must slow down!

      Delete
    2. Hahaha! Funny. I'm glad I didn't just miss hmmm...3 posts? Have a great week x

      Delete
  21. Great use of a kids toy. We built a couple of agility jumps for under 20.00. PVC and connectors. The Pups love them, they run and jump everytime they are in the yard. Please stop by and say hi!! http:www.brandoandbogart.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete