“ Brand: Chukka / Animals Equipment Type: Dog Toys „
~~**~~* Chukka Ball *~~**~~
Q: What's brown and sticky?
A: A stick.
Yep, taking the dog for a walk can indeed be a messy affair. It seems that if there's a puddle nearby, then Doughnut (chocolate lab) will truffle* through it. Apart from kitting her out with a little mac and wellie boots combo, there's not a lot I can do to prevent her turning into an even browner doggy. However, there is a remarkable invention that does thwart Doughnut's attempt to turn me into a dirty tramp.
Cue the introduction of the Chukka Ball stick thing. Now, there are tons of these on the market made by many different companies and varying in price - at Crufts we purchased 5 for presents and I've no idea which brand was sent to whom but they were all about £3. Bargain?
It's a ruddy ball on a stick: why on earth would I spend nearly an hour's wage purchasing a ball on a stick?
The design itself is ingenious. Imagine the tennis ball cup things that you clip on your shorts- it's that on the end of an ergonomically shaped curved plastic thing with grooves for a handle. Doesn't sound like a particularly clever tool but trust me it is. Picture it: It's late into the walk and Doughnut's fetched and slobbered all over the ball already making it a rather unattractive blob to pick up, then whilst returning with it for the 30th time, she decides to chomp on the luxury countryside cuisine that is cow muck. After eating her fill, she returns with the object that once resembled a ball but could now sit proudly in the Tate as a Hirst creation. Forgive me, but I'd rather leave the precious ball in the middle of nowhere. However, it's fair to say, I'm a tight ass and Doughnut's birthday comes once a year - tennis balls are a luxury item.
Now when Dee returns and the ball is dropped at my feet (wishful thinking - it's usually dumped somewhere in my vicinity and I'm expected to fetch it from there) all I have to do is place the Chukka Ball stick thing over the ball, apply a little pressure, and hey presto - the ball is snugly in the cup. Even more nifty is the fact that it'll stay in the cup until you 'throw' it out. This is great - no more having to put the ball in your pocket and finding it some days later when you're having lunch in Debenhams with squeamish friends. However, some people (mother) find it rather difficult at first to get the ball to leave the cup but I'm of the opinion that these few are just plain simple. The Chukka Ball stick thing even enables the ball to be thrown further which can be a bonus as your dog is gone for longer - not that I don't appreciate her company more that I prefer to stay dry.
Doughnut's had her stick since she was 5 months old and it's still as sturdy as the day it was born. Obviously, the tennis ball it came with, went to the great tennis court in the sky and so have many others since but most balls seem to fit it so now we get the 3 pack of Tesco's own. I also believe that it's made Dee a better retriever - she used to be crap at following the ball but the Chukka Ball stick thing allows you to throw underarm so the ball rolls along the ground and makes it easier for the little pig to track the ball visually. And there's more: Custard (yellow lab) used to be a bugger for dropping the ball and then snatching it back when you bent down to get it and consequently fingers were bitten on occasion - she's learnt that regardless of whether she snaps the ball is picked up by the Chukka Ball stick thing so now she leaves it and waits - see, it's a training aid too. Is there no end to the Chukka Ball stick thing's uses? Well probably, but one last thing - I've reached the tender age of 30 and my body is not what it once was - after gaining my manual handling certificate I realised that bending down to pick up a ball was taking its toll - now there's no bending involved and my arm is strained less too. Wow.
The Chukka Ball stick thing is available in many places - Pets at Home have one, the market sells some, they're all over the internet, they're everywhere basically. They're great for presents because they're light enough to post although wrapping it took a ruddy degree. The only downside to it is that it's not retractable or doesn't come with a holder so you've got to physically hold it - not easy when you've got your lead and poo bags too.
However, it's a fantastic invention that goes with us on every walk.
*truffle: pronunciation: truf'ul. -v. To dig at the ground with one's pig-like snout resulting in a dirty proboscis and an angry mummy.
Oh, and the picture dooyoo's chosen is nothing like the product I described.
Thanks for reading!!
Review will appear elsewhere when I can be bothered.
Self launching dog ball