Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remote-control dog, E-dogs

7 year-old Jack Russell terrier, Scamp, was hit by a car three years ago and lost all his legs. The owner, Anthony Smith from Nottingham, instead of having him put down as most owners would do had his beloved dog fitted with front and rear wheels, a powerful electric motor and a remote control.

Anthony said, ‘Scamp has never looked back since’, ‘but that’s because he can’t. You can see from the look in his eyes when I’m making him do J-turns, burn-outs and wheelies that he loves every moment of it. Admittedly he’s had problems getting on with other dogs and there’s been one or two drive-by shittings, but it’s all been worth it to be able to ‘walk’ him without leaving my chair by the window.’

However, scamp doesn’t enjoy the same freedom that he used to before his operation, ‘When we play fetch in the park he’s just like his old self. Of course, I have to throw the stick and then operate the remote control to get him close enough to pick it up, but he loves it and it’s much less boring for me. I’ve also set up an agility course for him – he can actually beat able-bodied dogs, even when he’s asleep,’ said Anthony.

Now because of this, Anthony has discovered a market for motorised animals and has gone into business. ‘Almost all pets are suitable for our high-speed mobility scheme, though I’ve given up working with fish,’ he said. ‘In fact I’ve just finished fitting an arthritic tortoise with the tracks from a Tamiya Tiger Tank. He’s surprisingly maneuverable. When we took him for a test drive over a see-saw, the little chap really came out of his shell, so I’ve put some glue in his leg holes to stop it happening again.’

Be that as it may, animal rights groups are horrified by the trend for e-dogs, claiming that some unscrupulous owners are modifying perfectly healthy pets for cosmetic reasons. ‘There’s no doubt the look of any animal can be improved by a set of off-road tyres and an aerial,’ said Anthony, ‘but this is about helping pets in their hour of need, and a brilliant new sport. We always promote safe and responsible driving, and that’s why we’re in favor of bringing back dog licenses.’

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