New Jersey woodworker Matt Thompson is a self-described creator of the “mostly ridiculous and unnecessary things.” The 50-year-old shared one of his recent concoctions on Instagram: a wooden machine that pets your dog for you.
“Happy National Pet Day! I’m sure all of our pets are appreciating all of the time we’ve been spending at home. I know our Bonnie and Clyde have been loving it,” Thompson wrote in the video caption.
The video, which received almost 20,000 views on Instagram, shows dogs Bonnie and Clyde stand under the device as it gently pets each of their backs.
Thompson told The Bark that 5 year-old Shepherd Bonnie requires a bit of extra attention and the machine was made, in part, to satisfy her.
Inspired by inventor Rube Goldberg’s similarly “unnecessary” sculptures, Thompson’s strange mechanism, made of cogs and wheels cut with a band saw, is designed to stroke dogs with two hands carved from wood. Thompson said he used an old corded drill as a motor to make sure the petting speed was suitable for his dogs.
“With each invention, I’ve just tried to take it to the next level,” he told parenting magazine Metro Parent in a separate interview. “It’s always been rewarding just to take some boards and turn it into something. Now, it’s making something someone has never seen before.”
Thompson’s automatic dog petter has been a hit on his YouTube channel as well, with some users praising him.
“You’re doing God’s work, thank you,” one user wrote.
“My dogs would love this haha,” another said.
However, others did express some concern about potentially becoming obsolete in their pet’s lives.
“Just add an automatic feeder and one of those walking wheels and you have made yourself irrelevant to your dog. May as well own a cat,” one person wrote.
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