Anyone who follows Brutus' facebook page already knows that we've been working on a project here. I have a nice little agility course in my basement, where Brutus and I practice between lessons, or retreat to when the summer temperatures are too warm to train outside. I already had made several jumps, as well as several other common agility obstacles: tunnels, a pause table, a tire (it's actually a hula-hoop hanging from the rafters) and a chute (a short tunnel with a collapsed fabric sleeve at the end). Not a bad set-up for a basement!!
As we are starting to move up to the next competition level, there some new obstacles we now need to learn that were not required in the most novice courses. Brutus was really not a natural on the weave poles, and I was lucky to find a bargain on a competition-quality set of those to add to my little course. The other new obstacle is the teeter-totter, which is basically a see-saw the dog runs across to tip. He learned the basics of the teeter easy enough, but we'd gotten to a point where I felt I needed to practice it more to have his teeter good enough in competition.
PVC pipe is a do-it-home agility builder's friend, and I finally found a reasonable pre-cut base (with minimal assembly required) so that I could add the teeter to my at-home training. The base arrived in the mail late last week, so I all needed was a 12-foot long board to use for the top. Easy-peasy, right??
So good ol' Courtney (who had bravely volunteered to help) and I headed out to the local big-box hardware store on Saturday. Two blondes walking around in Home Depot buying construction materials and PVC. Talk about sticking out like sore thumbs....
We navigated the store uneventfully, picking up our parts, some paint, and the board - at least until the HD employees assumed we were nuts/helpless. Like two ladies might bring down the whole store if we did things ourselves.... really! This guy came running when he saw us getting down our own lumber:
After graciously turning down over-zealous help from more than one other HD employee, we headed out to Courntey's car with the supplies. The board fit, but barely - we had it all the way to the front windshield as it took up the entire interior length of the truck! Here's the view to my left:
And looking into the back of the truck. Sadie Lou (who came along for moral support) was not happy to lose her usual spot to a hunk of lumber.
Once we made it back to my house with the goods, the next problem was getting the board down into the basement. My stairs have a tight turn in the middle, but we thought we could finagle/finesse it around.
Courtney & Sadie Lou worked the turn from the top end of the stairs...
...while Brutus kept an eye out for trouble down around the corner at the bottom end. Hey, Brutus! You're looking the wrong way - you're supposed be be watching the board!!
Unfortunately, it was (literally) an inch too long to fit. Just look at where the ends are in the two photos above - so close and yet so far from making it around the corner. Grrrrr..... The plans called for a 12 foot length, so we didn't want to cut it. Now what??
Suddenly I remembered that there are some small vents within the glass block of our basement windows.
Maybe the board is small enough in cross-section to fit through one of these teeny windows... So back outside we went with the lumber.
It was a tight fit (not even 1/2 inch to spare)...
... but we got it in!
WooHoo!!! Cause for celebrations both the inside
.. and from the outside!
Hooray for small victories!! It didn't look like much like a teeter yet (at least not to Brutus)...
... but at least now we could finally get on with the construction! All hands (and paws) on deck!!
Ironically, the board turned out to be almost an extra inch longer than we needed (biggify the next photo to see) - we COULD have shortened it to fit down the stairs. Oh, well - it's in now!!
Even though he wanted to help initially, Brutus soon became bored (board?) with all the measuring, marking and assembly.
The base was already together, so in no time at all we had a working teeter!! Here's the finished construction, just needing a few coats of paint for a non-slip surface:
Brutus bravely tested out the teeter, giving it the honorary first tip, up
That being done, we called it a day. Not bad work for two blondes, a Frenchie and a Brittany. Well, actually Courtney did more of the work than anyone else. I ran around looking for tools, Sadie napped and Brutus just stuck his flat face in the middle of everything and hampered our efforts!
Now you'll just have to come back to see the final product, painted and ready for action (and hopefully in a shorter post!). Brutus has a lot more fun in the next post, so tune back in for the final installment of the Tale of the Teeter!! A big THANKS to Courtney and Sadie Lou for helping us build!