Introduction: Ring of Fire (Dog Jumps Through Hoop)
I have a trick dog who really likes to jump; therefore, I've designed much of our performance routine around jumping over, through or onto things. The classic trick in this genre is jumping through a hoop. Many other tricks can build off of this skill, such as the one illustrated here, which I call the Ring of Fire. The dog jumps through a hoop rigged with streamers that add to the difficulty level of the trick. This instructable is not about teaching your dog to do the trick, it's about building the prop. It goes well with one of my other hobbies, tinkering with bicycles. The insight came to me when I obtained several abandoned bicycles, one of which was wrecked. The front wheel was in what we refer to as the "potato chip configuration." After looking at the rim for awhile, I decided it could make an improved version of the wheel of fire. My old one was simply a hula hoop with some flagging tape attached to it with clear tape. In the first one I ever saw, the flames were composed of flimsy crepe paper. Surely we can do better!
Marking (flagging) tape
Step 1: Prepare the Rim
I cut the spokes with diagonal pliers (AKA "dags") and put the steel hub into my scrap barrel. I saved the spokes for future projects. Because the rim is aluminum, I thought it would make a lightweight, strong, jumping hoop. I cleaned the rim thoroughly and straightened it up by laying it on the floor and stepping on the high parts. It did not end up perfectly straight, but it doesn't have to be. Nor does it matter whether you use a front or rear wheel, as you are only going to use the rim.
Step 2: String the First Course of Flagging Tape
I had two rolls of flagging tape, one orange and one pink. I decided to alternate them to make a more interesting flame effect. I decided that the stem valve hole, a convenient landmark, would be the top of the hoop. I rolled the end of the flagging tape between my fingers to make it narrow enough to fit through a spoke hole, poked it through and pulled it out the other side. I tied a knot in it with two or three turns so that it could not be pulled back out. I started with pink tape and, beginning adjacent to the stem valve hole, placed it in every other hole halfway down each side. I repeated this procedure, filling the other holes with the orange tape. I installed it so that the knot would be on the outside of the rim and the tape would hang straight down. I trimmed each tape even with the bottom of the rim using scissors.
Step 3: String the Second Course of Flagging Tape
For the bottom half of the hoop, I strung the tape in the same pattern, except I ran the tape in the opposite direction, the knots being on the inside of the rim so that the tape would hang straight down. I trimmed this lower half of tapes about a foot below the lowest point of the rim.
Step 4: Final Details
To neaten up the ring of fire, I tightened each knot and trimmed off the short end. I took the scissors and cut a slit in the end of each tape to improve the flamelike appearance. Finally, the testing! This instructable would be useless if the dog wouldn't use the new-and-improved Wheel of Fire. I grabbed some tasty dog treats and got Isabel the Reluctant Wonder Dog to test the apparatus. It met with her approval. When I do this part of my act in public, I always say that the owners of the building or grounds will not let me light an actual fire, so this hoop is the next best thing. Or something to that effect.