David Carter and his family have benefited from Nahla the Goldendoodle’s assistance during a challenging year. Whether she’s snuggling with her family or chasing sticks in the dog park, the lovable doggie is always there to provide entertainment and distraction.
Carter told The Dodo, “It took her two years to thoroughly teach us, and now we’re completely trained to do whatever she wants all the time.” “She’s just a lovely family member – having a pet like this, especially in the last year, has been wonderful.”
Carter decided to establish a “Stick Library” for his local dog park in Saskatchewan, Canada, to give back to Nahla and the other dogs in the community. Carter first saw the idea on Facebook and thought it would be a great project to undertake with his 10-year-old son, Jeremiah.
The father-son collaboration had to come up with the appropriate design before the construction could begin. “We had to talk about what type of proportions it should have so it was the proper length for the sticks that most dogs like, and we had to make it durable enough to withstand being in the dog park,” Carter explained.
The two got to work with some scrap lumber. Carter taught his kid how to utilize the tools needed to build the library, including how to mark it with a wood burner.
“We came up with the notion of referring to each of the dog parks as a ‘branch’ of the library, which made us laugh a little,” Carter added. “After that, Jeremiah applied the lettering, and we put it all together.”
There are now two branches open, with more on the way. However, unlike other libraries, Carter’s stick libraries have a somewhat loose return policy.
“Because we’re dealing with dogs here, the rules are relatively lax,” Carter explained. “We don’t have anything like an overdue policy. We’re hoping that folks will return the sticks.”
The stick libraries have gotten a lot of attention from dogs and their owners in the last week. Nothing pleases Carter and Jeremiah more than seeing their libraries bring delight to their furry friends. “Seeing dogs rush right over and grab a stick has been extremely exciting,” Carter added.
“Ultimately, it’s just a wooden box on the ground,” Carter explained, “but I think the tale is about giving people something else to think about and speak about that isn’t about the pandemic and is about something joyful — especially because it involves their pets.”
The father-son team is already hard at work refining their design for the library’s next branch. They’re thinking of putting up a stand with some hooks for lost and found stuff, as well as a spot for some balls, though Nala isn’t always trustworthy when there’s a ball nearby.
“If she catches a ball in the dog park, that’s it,” says the narrator “Carter remarked. “For the next hour, we won’t be able to contact her.”