loves tennis balls. He loves to chew on them, carry
them, chase them, catch them, fetch then, sleep on them, as
well as hug them and pet them and call them George.
This is not
peculiar behavior for a Golden Retriever. However,
Ransom enjoys another tennis ball-related game called,
"Shove the ball under the chair, then dig holes in the
carpet until you get it back out." This got me
thinking. Wouldn't it be cool if Ransom had a box of
some sort to play his hide-n-seek game? Thus began the
first official Spooky Blue Shop Project.
Stick a tennis ball into the maze and watch Ransom go
completely out of his mind trying to get it back out again.
I cut 2 32"x32" squares from some 3/8"
plywood sheeting I had lying around. I then cut some
old 2x4s into various lengths from 4" to 6".
I sanded off any rough edges and rounded all the corners to
protect dog paws & noses.
support the corners, I spaced out the 2x4 blocks to give the
player lots of places to stick his paws in. They're
offset so each side of the box gives him a different means
of getting inside the maze.
the center of the maze are two blocks butted together in a
"T". They're set at an angle, so there's a
good chance a deflected ball will bounce into a corner
instead of popping right back out of the maze. This
also serves as a means of support for the center of the box
(in case puppies or blonde women walk or stand on the box
when you're not looking).
everything together with 6P nails. The original plans
called for upholstering the top and bottom as well as
painting the blocks. However, I was too excited to see
what Ransom would do with his new toy to bother with all
those pesky details.
Ransom enjoys playing this new game up to a point.
Upon reaching said point he begins growling and chomping the
plywood. The problem is that he can't see the
ball. He can shove both paws in up to his shoulders, and
presumably can feel the ball as he knocks it around, but he
can't see what's going on in there. When the ball ends
up in a corner, it tends to stay there, resulting in teeth
marks on the plywood.
I plan on
cutting 1/2" slots in strategic places on the top of
the box so he can see into the maze. The slots won't
be wide enough to stick a paw through. (This will
protect puppies and those blonde women from turning an ankle by
accident.) These slots ought to make the game much more
fun. Hopefully this improvement will result in
"Two paws" instead of "One paw" on the
Retriever Rating Scale).