a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: And Speaking of Entropic Tunnels

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And Speaking of Entropic Tunnels

SUMMARY: An exploration of the thermodynamic decay of cynological paraphernalia.
My first agility equipment purchase EVER was a couple of small blue fabric spring-loaded children's play tunnels, something like this:
(Get one here!). They were great for teaching newbie agility dogs to go straight, but they didn't bend worth beans. They didn't last long, either.

My first *real* agility equipment purchase was a 10-foot yellow tunnel; several of us in class ordered them through our instructor. Those were the days. Hard to believe that I've been doing agility enough now to have bought 5 real tunnels. That first one died a few years back, too much sun and activity. One--my expensive competition-quality double-walled 20-footer, bought new--is now held together with clips. One--a basic yellow 15-footer--I also bought new and is slowly decaying but isn't dead yet.

One--also a basic yellow 15-footer--I bought used from an instructor. Sure, it might have flaws that one wouldn't want in a class situation with liability and dozens of dogs pounding it night after night, but it's fine in a private yard with just a couple of dogs sometimes using it. Still, it is out in the sun and rain and wind and sleet and snow (although not so much the last 2 in san jose) 24/7/365. Plus it is used as a launching pad for squirrel patrol and has trouble staying roundish.

And, so, it has come to the end of its life as something resembling an agility tunnel.

Poor Mr. Tunnel:

The wires on about half the tunnel have separated from the actual tunnel, so the middle section sort of sloughs into a sorry lump.

Isn't it fun, boys and girls, seeing what's underneath the yellow fiberglass-reinforced (or whatever it is holds it together) vinyl?

If you leave one side of a bright yellow tunnel always up, it becomes not so bright yellow any more and you can see the individual strands of the reinforcing stuff, so fragile that glancing at it wrong causes handfuls to disintegrate on sight.

Plus numerous spots in which doggie paws can--or already have--gone right through.

So this week I bought my fifth tunnel ever--used--again my timing was good, picked up a battered one from an instructor, but it's a sturdy, high-quality tunnel with probably a couple of years life left to it when used in Taj MuttHall fashion.  So Taj MuttHall will return to having three functional tunnels, at least for a while.


  1. Are the girls excited about the new tunnel? Probably not..maybe one tunnel is the same as the next to them. They should be glad they have you, though, to make sure their tunnels are nice and safe!

  2. Yeah, I thought they'd at least sniff at it, but I never noticed them giving it a second glance.