Wow, we are supposed to have two, count ’em, TWO days of consecutive sunshine! Rain is again in the forecast for the remainder of the week, but we are set to have sun tomorrow. Of course, I will become a believer only when I actually see and feel it.
While checking the searches that brought me visitors (and thank you for stopping by), I noticed several instances of people looking for rally obedience sign holders. One of my older rally obedience-related posts gives some good resources for signs and holders, but I thought that maybe some of you would like to see my homemade signs.
Signs can be downloaded in PDF format from the sites of the various organizations that sanction rally competition, and from a number of dog training sites and dog owners’ personal sites. I am lucky enough to have access to a color laser copier at work. I printed the signs on light card stock and put them in plastic sheet protectors. I think I would opt for heavier sheet protectors if I did it again. I bought the least expensive ones and they are a little too flexible. The clothespins are used to attach the signs to the wire holders.
EDITED TO ADD: I don’t usually number the signs for at-home practice. As small as the yard is, there is usually only one possible route anyway! If I do, though, I just write numbers on Post-it Notes. Hey, it works!
The wire holders are made from a folding wire garden edging fence, 18″ high with 8 segments, each approximately 1 foot wide.
I didn’t save the packaging so I don’t have a brand name, but It was purchased at the local Ace Hardware store and made by Glamos Wire Products. The linked site appears to be for wholesale, but I would guess you could call to find the names of retailers. I’ve also seen them at Home Depot. Cost was about $5. I used a needle-nosed pliers to unhook the segments from each other and cut off the excess wire.
EDITED TO ADD: They also had taller (24″) folding fences made by Living Accents. They were $12.49 at my local Ace Hardware store.
Here is a link to an online hardware store selling them for $6.99. Link no longer works, but you should be able to find these and other folding fences at your local Ace Hardware or Home Depot or [insert your hardware store or home improvement store here].
EDITED TO ADD: Check out this very cool variation from Marie at K-9 Solutions! She uses the same folding fences to create an indoor/outdoor version of the sign holders.
Here they are in the yard, set very close together just for photo purposes:
I also got the bright idea of using my Flip Mino to record our practice sessions. Since there isn’t always someone around to run the camcorder, I set it up on the patio table, on an inexpensive mini-tripod that was part of the accessory package that came with my digital still camera.
Our yard is small (the lot is a typical Chicago neighborhood lot, 30 feet wide by 125 feet long), but I wasn’t sure how much of the yard would actually be in the frame, so Axel and Freya helped me by heeling around the yard with me (separately, of course) so I’d have some reference points for setting up the rally signs and our other practice sessions for video. I left the camcorder running for about half an hour and now have a pretty good idea of which parts of the yard are out of the frame.
Here is about a minute and a half of Freya “helping” with the camcorder setup:
I plan to do more videos featuring the lovely Freya and the handsome Axel putting up with my sloppy leash handling and bad timing. Hopefully my handling will also get better as a result.
(NaBloPoMo | June ‘09: 14 of 30 | 75% Challenge: 141 of 274)