Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DieselCam: Field Test #1

I awoke this morning with the makings of a good sinus attack coming on. So I opted to call in, take some drugs, and sleep it off.  When I got back up a little later in the morning, I was surprised to see that it was 45° outside, and partly sunny.  I called Mikey, and asked him how the weather was and asked if I should take the big, sleeping beast out for a walk. He thought the fresh air would do us both good. 

Considering that when this week first started out, we still had snow on the ground, and now with this sudden warm front moving in,  and the rain this morning, the neighborhood was an absolute mud pit.  Living on dirt roads has a few advantages, but the mud, lack of a decent snow plow, and the enormous potholes, are a few things that really make it not so much fun. And definitely makes taking your mutt for a walk more of a challenge. 

Well, I thought it would be fun to see how well walking Diesel in his boots would be.  A few years ago, Mikey and I bought Diesel some boots after we had gone out on Lake St. Clair while it was frozen. The top layer of the lake was an icy slush and we didn't realize until it was too late, that while Diesel had been running and chasing the four-wheelers and snowmobiles, his little paws were getting sliced open.  

So here I get the great idea, its muddy, lets put the dog in his boots so I don't have to clean up an awful mess when we get home. It was hard to get a decent, picture, but this is Diesel in his boots. It wasn't too bad to get them on him, once he put two and two together and realized that we were going for a walk, he was patient enough. Only doing one lap around the living room between getting each one on. Once we were on the road, it was even muddier that I thought it would be!  I decided to take the small route that has quite a bit of paved surfaces to try and limit the amount of dirt I would be cleaning later.  Of course the boots don't fit all that great, and so I had to stop probably six times to pull them back up and secure them.  And in the process, getting mud all over my hoodie and jeans. But we kept on trucking.

I also made the fun decision to test out my new collar cam.  I purchased the Dogtek Eyenimal Digital Videocam for Pets about a week ago, and today is the first day the weather has cooperated enough to want to use it. Having only really used it the one time, its going to take some time to get right.  It's not one of those things you can just clip to your pets collar and away you go.  My first mistake was attaching it to the wrong part of Diesel's collar.  I forgot that the weight of the clasp on the leash was going to rotate the collar, so the first 10 mins of our walk is at a 90° angle, and it eventually rotates all the way to the back of his neck and is staring straight at the sky.  And only then did I notice that. I moved the camera, and started again, only now it was facing the ground. Another adjustment. Better. It eventually rotated a bit more, less than a 45° angle and stayed like that for the rest of the walk. The other problem was that his neck fur was constantly obstructing the view. And with every step he would take, the camera would bounce in and out of his fur, also forcing the camera to have to auto-focus every few seconds.  Needless to say, it wasn't a great first walk.  The footage was hard to watch, and if you get motion sick easy, it's best not viewed at all.  

Because I know some of you may be curious about how it turned out, I did cut a one minute section off of our final 7 minutes of recording time and posted it to YouTube.  You can check it out below.  Any suggestions you might have to help stabilize it would be appreciated.  I am thinking I may buy a harness for him, and attach it to the front of that. Not really sure yet. 

1 comment:

  1. Maybe one of those harnesses that are a little wider than a leash material. They kind of look like tank tops from the front.