Ball Thrower for Assistance Dog
The popular and easily available ball “flinger” used by many dog owners requires a certain amount of upper arm strength and dexterity which the Client did not have. A simple powered version was required that did not require any external power source and could be mounted on the Client’s wheelchair.
Two sideframes were cut from 12mm Birch ply and these were mounted on a timber backbone that spanned the foot rests on the wheelchair. Suitably sized Terry or tool spring clips would hold this in place on the chair. A standard ball flinger is pivotted between the sideframes. Power is provided by elastic shock cord stretching from the end of the flinger back to the end of the timber backbone. The stretch of this cord can be altered to determine how far the ball will travel when released.
A catch mechanism holds the flinger in the “cocked position” and the ball can then be released by a simple tap on a bar on the catch mechanism. An assistant is required at the moment to reload the ball and pull the fliger back into the cocked position. The Client is hopeful that she can train her dog to assist in at least one of these actions.
The Client can now reinforce the bond between herself and her Assistance Dog by “throwing” the ball as part of play.