Retrieving is one of the funnest parts of dog ownership. But sometimes our furry friends have a lot more energy than us and get a little frustrated when we're ready to finish the game. Wouldn't it be great if they could catch as many tennis balls as their hearts desire? A man named George G. thought about it and used ancient technology to create a device that would allow his dog Olive to fetch alone.
A man known as u/GoesUp on Reddit shared a video of a catapult he built for his pup. He describes his invention as "the first recorded fully dog-controlled tennis ball catapult". But despite the simple mechanism, getting the design right wasn't very easy. He recalls resorting to trial and error when it came to elements like overall height, weight distribution and cable attachment points. “I only think and act. I tried to find plans online but couldn't, so I started playing," he wrote. Based on a video posted on his YouTube channel, he built the first iteration about 12 years ago.
He elaborated on his invention by explaining, “The arm has a hole in it and pivots on a thin metal rod.” He also continued to provide further insight into the static part, which is made of two parallel boards. “The arm swings between them, and pivots on…a big nail. The nail is at the top. Paddle is indeed attached with an old hinge.”
First off, the catapult would be nothing without its intelligent operator and client. George G. said his dog's training for use was surprisingly quick. "This video pretty much sums up how long it took to teach her how to use it," he wrote. To do this, he ordered Olivia to load the ball and showed her what to do to get started, adding: "Honestly it only took a few minutes. Olivia was crazy about fetch, so teaching her something that led to more fetch was pretty quick.”