Building a Set of Broad Jumps, Part I

Today, I was home for the day at lunch. I spent about an hour-and-a-half reading instructions for making a broad jump for dog obedience practice. My practice jumps are over 20 years old, and the broad jump is down to only two boards out of four, and one of the two is so eaten by ants, it is missing one end leg. They are pitiful. So, when I got the opportunity for some free time, I decided to make a new set.

I had to study the plans to make sure I understood what I’d have to do. I’d only had wooden jumps in the past, so PVC is new to me.

Annie searching for blooms and lizards against the backdrop of an approaching storm

Meanwhile, during my studying, a storm was approaching. So all of the FDSP came inside, even Annie, who had her eye on a fat lizard. Once protected indoors with all my fur babies, I finished the prep work, the pre-hunting and gathering tasks, which was including in that hour-and-a-half time frame.

Due to Florida’s humidity, and ants that eat wooden jumps, I thought PVC was the way to go for the new set. I found a website that had the plans for the jumps, however, the page was not available anymore. I clicked on the cache copy, though, and low and behold, the directions came up! I don’t know how long cache is stored in Google, but it’s here for now, so you can click and save if you are interested in making a set of jumps. (Never mind. I just checked and it’s gone! Boy did I luck out!)

I am making the broad jump first, but will probably move ahead with the high jump later on. I’m using a bar jump and intended to drape a towel over it to make a towel jump…er, high jump. Anything will do in a pinch! But a nice inexpensive homemade set will do nicely.

Anyway, after I understood the instructions, I went on-line to the unenviable task of calling Home Depot, Sheridan Lumber, Sears and then Lowe’s to find the hardest piece of the puzzle, the white vinyl housing siding. Eeegads! That took me the better part of a half hour and more energy and patience than the rest of the studying. However, Lowe’s did have the ingredient, so I decided to go there first.

I got in the lane to make a left into Lowe’s side street. This was the intersection without a light, and traffic coming in our direction was non-stop. I was the third vehicle in line for the turn, so got impatient and moved out of line to the next intersection with the light. That was a bad move. I had to wait two lights to make that left while just after I moved out of line, they all got the clearance for the left turn. One of those bad moves I’m known for. Same with lines in grocery stores. I pick ’em…the wrong ones!

I got the siding and the rest of the store was frustrating. Lowe’s is just not about customer service. There were three men putting stock away at this time one aisle away from the aisle I needed help with. And I couldn’t find a one to help me with the rest of the ingredients to this project. I did find the man I spoke to on the phone, Devon in the building materials department, and he helped me with the siding. After not finding the right screws, I decided to just get the siding and go to Home Depot where at least I can get someone to help me.


I did that. I got someone to help me. When I told him about the saw I had at home and he said I needed a fine-tooth saw to cut my ingredients, and I told him I had one – I pulled out my notes and read, “plywood, plastic laminate, 7 1/4″ DeWald.” Then he told me I was not only beautiful, but smart as well. (He asked me out for Friday night.) OmG! Some of us have got it, right? Meanwhile, I got all the rest of the ingredients to this project and with the help of Mr. Complimentary, and I was on my way with everything I needed. God bless Home Depot and their wonderful employees. Oh, while we’re at it, let’s include Lowe’s and theirs, too.

Raven offers me her toy, which she promptly pulls away anytime I reach for it.

When I got home, Raven was waiting for me. As soon as she got outside, it was the same request. OK, with her it’s more of a demand. “Throw my toy, but first, try to get it from my very stubborn snout that likes to play mind games with you.” Right.

Luigi checks out his new building materials

Well, here is a picture of my PVC. Luigi is inspecting it. Turns out it was all fine, so I got out my PVC cutter and tape measure, marker, and a bottle of mosquito spray, which I used. I hate that stuff, but enough was enough. I had a lot of measuring and cutting to do, and I was getting bit non-stop!

I finally finished the cutting, and put one of the four skeletons together. Works fine! I’m so happy. The next part is to measure and cut the white vinyl house siding, which is getting heavily rained on at this very moment in night time. This next step, though, may be a little more challenging as I may need to use my saw. Not sure yet, because I bought a pair of heavy duty scissors. Frankly, I’m a little afraid of that electric saw. It’s still in the box. I bought it on sale over a year ago for this very same project, but I was going to make wooden jumps instead. It’s like anything, if you don’t have a good teacher, learning yourself can be a little daunting. But it’s doable. And the Home Depot folks are very good at helping out, mostly. One of them gave me all the information and encouragement I needed to change the washer on a faucet in the kitchen a few weekends ago. He was the best! Some people are happy to teach and help other people succeed.

She’s baaack…

To top off the afternoon, well, into evening, as I finished cutting PVC and was headed inside to put the FDSP dinners together, the Goodyear Blimp floated by to say hey. “Hey!” No nifty flag pictures tonight, but she really likes to kiss our neighborhood tress. What a lovely sight.

The rain is soaking my garden now, the vegetable part, too. I’m not going to mention that thorn in my side tonight.


About Helen

I'm a Southern California living in South Florida. I've been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I'm a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don't understand. So I'm an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.
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