Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Go fetch!

Oh, my! A new package freshly delivered! It was supposed to be dog's Christmas pressie, but missed the date by a stretch. Better late than never.

The box graphic says it all. It's a ball launcher for dog to play 'fetch' with.

The overall design is reminiscent of an old-time spittoon. The hopper up top is where the ball gets dropped into. There is a click and a whirr, and seconds later the ball is ejected out the spout. Fun and games ensue as dog frantically tears after said ball, leaving a wake of destruction in her path. Lesson #1: clear the runway of foreign objects before attempting airborne operation.

The ammunition that came with the ball cannon. In all seriousness, despite the, um, nostalgic outward aesthetic, mechanically the iFetch is a nicely designed dog toy patterned after the tennis-ball launcher. Powered by wall socket or six 'C' batteries, the range can be adjusted from 10 to 20 to 30 ft. Launch trajectory is low to avoid unexpected crotch shots. Uncomplicated, hardy, and unlikely to break down easily due to apparently few moving parts, it's quite a good buy. This particular unit came at a Kickstarter introductory price, so that was even nicer.

A couple of points to take note of, though. Although the balls look like tennis balls, they're actually softer and smaller in size. For a small dog, that's fine, but for a big dog, could they be a choking hazard? Also, the long-term plan is for the dog to operate the iFetch by herself in case she has no one to play with when she's bored. However, there's some training involved that's going to take some time. There's a helpful training video on the website, so that's gonna be fun. Let's play ball!

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