Rebuilding Unsealed Ball Bearings for Inline Skates and other purposes

Bearings are mechanical.  You need to keep them dry, and you need to keep them lubed.  No matter what they are in, wheels, skate wheels, or other purposes, they need maintenance.

I have a lot of leftover bearings from when I competed and skated 100 mile weeks like they were going out of style.  That means that in Peak Season, I would be tearing down inline skate bearings once every two weeks.

I have plastic Feta Cheese containers with lids that has my old inventory, and I am going through them.  Just before I left Philadelphia at the end of the 2005 season, I tore down every one of those couple-hundred bearings and refurbished/restored/reworked them.  Lubed and ready they sat in the Feta Cheese container until I needed them last week.

The problem is that an oil will oxidize if left alone long enough.  That was what happened to me.  I found that they slowed me down greatly, and trust me, all those 21,000 miles worth of skating meant I was tearing down a lot of bearings so I know how they should feel.

The good news was that when I did this process to my old bearings from years past, I used them today.  The process shaved a whole minute off a mile, so it’s worth it.

To do this, I use the following – your process may vary.

  • Electric Hair Dryer with a flat metal grid over the heating surface.
  • Citrus Degreaser.
  • Paper towels.
  • Plastic container for bearings and parts of bearings.
  • A “sturdy” push pin with a fine point.
  • A container of lubricating oil.  I use Triflow and have for decades.
  • A Skate Maintenance tool – has a pusher to remove a bearing from a wheel and a hex key.

 

Understand this is a long process.  Doing this from start to finish for me took 3 hours on a rainy sunday afternoon.  Once you start, you really do have to complete the process by getting the bearings lubed and sealed up once again.  

Take A Deep Breath, You Can Do This!

Keep in mind though, this process is for UNSEALED bearings.  These are bearings where the shields can be freely removed.   If you can’t remove the shields and get at the insides, you’re done, buy a new set of bearings.  Come on back when you have got them.

Standard Internet Warranty applies – this is at your own risk.  If you ruin your bearings, well that’s on you.  I have made every effort to present this in excruciating detail to be as complete as possible by a knowledgeable amateur.  Ramblingmoose.com takes no responsibilities towards anything that you do as a result.  Sorry, but weasel words are here to protect … me.

 

First step is to remove all wheel assemblies from the skate “truck”.  Since there are variances in how this is done, I’m being general.  Find the screw or bolt that holds it in, remove the bolt from the wheel, push the axle through the wheel to free it, and set it aside.

Second is to remove all bearings from each wheel.  This gets you to where you have naked metal parts – bearings, axles, and bolts/screws.  Use your skate tool to push the speed kit or anything else in the way out of it.  That should pop the bearing out from the other side.  If no speed kit is used, then you can use the skate tool to seat inside the center of the bearing, lean it toward one side and pull back to extract the bearing.

Third, with a clean towel wipe all old grease and grit from the outside of the bearing.  I do mean ALL.  There is a track on the top of each bearing that must be visible so that you can see the retaining clip.

Fourth, Completely Disassemble each and every bearing and place all parts in the cleaning container.  I will go into detail after I complete this long process.  See below.  No really, go to the bottom of the article where I describe everything in painful detail.

Fifth, Add Citrus Degreaser to the cleaning container and water if you feel you need it.  I use full strength.

Sixth, Cover the container and shake it vigorously for enough time to degrease the bearings.  I usually take more than a minute shaking this up inside the sink.

Seventh, Pour off the solution and cover the bearings with tap water.  Shake it vigorously.  Your water will discolor.  You will see grit get dissolved into the water.  You may wonder why you even started this longish process.

Eight, Repeat step Seven until the water runs clear.  It took me six repeats.

Nine, lay out paper towels.  Bang out the bearings on the paper towels until there is no more water inside the bearings, visibly.   Place each bearing on a dry paper towel.  Repeat with the shields, bolts, screws, C-Clips, and so forth until everything is as dry as possible.

Ten, Using the hairdryer, place each bearing on the grid on the outflow or hot side of the hairdryer.  I tend to put down more than one because this is a long process.  Turn on the hairdryer to full hot and allow the air to dry the bearing completely.  All water must “bake out”, because any water left in the bearing will rust it.

I repeat – all the water must bake out because any water left in the bearings will rust them.

Go longer than shorter.   I find a minimum of 1 minute per bearing is needed with my hairdryer, your time will vary.

Eleven, partial reassembly.  Place one shield in a bearing.  Replace the C-Clamp by fitting it in the groove toward the outside of each bearing.  Repeat for each bearing, but only one side.

Twelve, Lubricate the bearings.  Tri-Flow has a drip applicator where you can get a single drop of oil if you squeeze gently.  Each bearing needs three drops of oil.  Spin it gently.  Replace the Shield and C-Clip for the opposite side.  Spin the bearing.  It must spin freely – Tri-flow is a speed lubrication oil (or so I was told once upon a time).  The bearings should spin like a fidget spinner.   Repeat for every other bearing you have.

Finally reassemble the wheels by pushing one bearing into place, inserting a speed kit where they came from, and place the second bearing on the opposite side.

Once that all is through, you can bolt each wheel into the skate truck and test for speed.   If a wheel is bolted too tightly, it will stop spinning quickly when spun.  They should be free, and the bolts should not come loose.  I use a small square of duct tape and a little “Permatex Blue” to put the retention bolt in place and keep it there under load.

Ok, now that the “general” (yeah right) process has been described, the complete teardown.  

All bearings are laid out in front of you.

Take a bearing, and look at it from the side.  It looks like a ring or a donut.

Under the outer ring, there is a notch where a piece of flat springy metal sits.  It’s in the shape of a Letter C.

The ends of the C are beveled where one side is beveled away from the rim.

That creates a notch where you insert the tip of your push pin and pull it away from the rim.

The C Clip should pull away “easily”, but you may find that some refuse to come out.  If all of your bearings are like that, you have sealed bearings and you can not or are not able to pursue the disassembly, and you will want to reassemble the wheels without washing them.

If the C Clip pulls away, set it in the cleaning container.

Under the C Clip there sits a circular metal shield.  It looks like a flat washer but is typically rather thin.  This has to be removed, and it should fall right out with a little coaxing.  I use the push-pin to get one side up then flip it upside down to get it to fall out.  It should not bend or be bent.

Wipe down the shield and C Clip and place them in the cleaning container.

You should now be able to see the ball bearings and the guide that holds the ball bearings in.  The better bearings have a metal guide.  The plastic or teflon guides are useable but will degrade with time and re-lubing.  Not a crisis since new bearings are fairly available.

Now that you have removed both Shields and C-Clamps, place all parts in the cleaning container and move onto the next bearing.

When all bearings are done, go back up to Step Five since you are ready to actually degrease your bearings.

 

Good luck!

A Sunday Triple Play

Going through things here, I found three stories, all too short to stand on their own. So here you go, a Triple Play.

It’s easier this way, and besides, the Golden Orb is in the sky and I don’t think it’s going to last this weekend.

Quick, go out and look at the warmth and brightness it brings, safely.

 

 

A Buddhist monk walks up to a hot dog vendor and says “Make me one with everything”.

The hot dog vendor hands over the sausage and bun with all the trimmings, and the Buddhist hands over a twenty. The vendor pockets it.

The Buddhist asks “Where’s my change?” and the vendor replies “change must come from within”.

A gun then extends from the Buddhist’s chest and he asks again.

The vendor says “Whoa, man, where did that come from?”

The Buddhist replies “This is my inner piece”.

 

A renowned philosopher was held in high regard by his driver, who listened in awe as his boss lectured and answered difficult questions about the nature of things and the meaning of life.

Then, one day, the driver approached the philosopher and asked if he was willing to switch roles for just one evening. The philosopher agreed, and, for a while, the driver handled himself remarkably well.

However, when the time came for questions, someone at the back of the room asked him, “Is the epistemological meta-narrative that you seem to espouse compatible with a teleological account of the universe?”

“That’s an extremely simple question,” he replied. “So simple, in fact, that even my driver could answer it.”

 

A guy is showing his friend around his apartment

The last stop is the bedroom, where a big brass gong sits next to the bed
“What’s that gong for?” the friend asks him.

“It’s not a gong,” the drunk replies. “It’s a talking clock.”
“How does it work?”

The guys picks up a hammer, gives the gong an ear-shattering pound, and steps back.

Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screams, “For God’s sake … it’s 3:30 in the god damn morning!”

I have the memory of a wooly mammoth. It’s like an elephant’s, but a little fuzzy

I keep a list of jokes on a text file on my Linux server’s desktop. I’m sitting here reading this and think… Hmmm, it’s raining, so perfect time for me to post this story.
Or not. You decide, I won’t judge.

 
A man comes to a priest for confession.
Priest: What’s on your mind?

Man: I have a confession.

Priest: Go on.

Man: A few days ago a girl friend of mine asked me to come help her with a plumbing issue. I agreed and came over to help her out. Once I was about to leave she looked outside and saw that it was raining. She convinced me to spend the night, and so we ended sleeping together.

The next day another girl friend of mine asked me to come over and help her with some yard work. Once we were done she noticed that it was raining and convinced me to spend the night. We also ended up sleeping together.

The day after that a guy fiend of mine asked me to come over and help him with some car issues he was having. It started raining and he convinced me to stay the night, so naturally we also slept together.

What should I do?

Priest: Get the hell out of here before it starts raining.

My Clock Has Four Legs and Fur or how Rack gets me to inspect the sprinklers

Most people have a very stable schedule.

Oh sure, you leave the house five minutes this way or that, go a different direction once in a while.  What I mean is that if you pull back and look at things at a “One Thousand Foot Level” instead of being specific, you do roughly the same things every day at about the same time daily.

This effect can be seen while looking at pollution levels at a city for example.  Saturday and Sunday has cleaner air.  Monday traffic is a little less than Tuesday because you and a couple hundred people in your city had a case of The Mondays that week.

That sort of thing.

I think that I’m in that sort of a relationship with my dog.  A bit of a feedback loop.

In my pre-dawn haze, almost every single day, I look over at him when I open my eyes.

Rack is almost always looking right back at me.

Ok, so it’s 5am, so let me sleep in.  Dawn comes two hours from now in winter, ok?

Didn’t think so.

If humans have a semi-rigid schedule, so do dogs.

We get out of bed and get prepared for a lap around town.  Fifteen minutes later, like furry clockwork, we’re on our way.

When we’re back, he fiddles around doing those Dog Things that he does, but he knows that when the microwave door opens, 40 seconds later, he gets food.  “Come on over” is something I rarely have to say.

Food, coffee, Spanish, online stuff, and all the sudden he’s at my elbow again.  I check the clock, it’s just turned 7 and someone else is getting up.

“Go see ’em!” I say.  It rarely works but I try anyway.  Time for a little attention, and he’s back in his corner.

I go back to my own routine and after a bit he’s back at my elbow.

It’s 7:31am.  My sprinkler systems have kicked on for a quick watering of the pots.  He’s looking at me, he knows, it’s time.  I have to do the yard inspection.   That’s a pretty rigid time there even if the clock there needs to be adjusted.

We’re in the yard, I dump my first mug’s coffee grounds in the plants because “It’s Gardener’s Gold!” in this sandbox that we call soil here, plus it can reduce the number of mosquitoes and feral cats that wander through the property.

Dumping the pool scoop in the can, I’m being herded inside.

I think Rack manages my time as effectively as any cellphone, Palm Pilot, or Secretary ever could.

He does know not to ask for an ice cube on the second mug of coffee, he gets one and that is fine by him.

Similar things happen around lunch where he knows to check what I am making.  I learned that if I tell him that it is chicken or “there’s onions” he won’t bother me.

I’ll give him some homemade yogurt instead.

At 440, he gets up to wander into the kitchen for his dinner and our second yard inspection.  Oh sure, I may be deeply involved in something, but if I am, he’ll nudge me along.

Not at 4:35 nor 4:45, but promptly at 4:40.

“Dog?  Can you read a clock?”

Brown eyes lasering a hole through my head.

When we get back inside, I try to reclaim my own schedule.

5PM on the dot he gets up and walks to the front door.   The house is about to fill up again, I am having more holes sintered in to my head.  Twin brown laser beams are telling me that someone is on the way.

I see the white SUV pull past, then back into the drive.  Time once again to go for a walk.

Yep, dog walk time.

It’s almost cause and effect.  He knows what is going on, and has a good understanding of what he is being included in.

Rack, being a McNab Dog, is so intelligent that I have learned just to accept that he will understand what is going on.   If I get up and move for the keys in a certain way that indicates that a car is being used, he tries to invite himself.  If it is a Skate Day instead, when he sees me put my skates or pads by the door, he backs off.

Intense little black and white dogs can’t run as far or as fast for as long as I can skate, although the ride would have him beyond excited.

But a herding dog, especially a McNab, is a special thing.  They will manage you if they can, and will understand what you are saying even if you can’t see the clock!

Someone’s been adding soil to my garden… The plot thickens.

A Mafia godfather finds out his bookkeeper has screwed him for 10 million bucks.

This bookkeeper is deaf. It was considered an occupational benefit and why he got the job in the first place as it was assumed a deaf bookkeeper wouldn’t be able to hear anything he’d ever have to testify about in court.

When the godfather goes to shake down the bookkeeper for his missing $10 million, he brings along his attorney, who knows sign language.

The godfather asks the bookkeeper, “Where is the 10 million bucks you embezzled from me?”

The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the $10 million is hidden.

The bookkeeper signs back, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

The attorney tells the godfather, “He says he doesn’t know what you’re talking about.”

That’s when the godfather pulls out a 9mm pistol, puts it to the bookkeeper’s temple, cocks it and says, “Ask him again!”

The attorney signs to the underling, “He’ll kill you for sure if you don’t tell him!”

The bookkeeper signs back, “OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzio’s backyard in Queens!”

The godfather asks the attorney, “Well, what’d he say?”

The attorney replies, “He says you don’t have the guts to pull the trigger.”

I have the memory of a wooly mammoth. It’s like an elephant’s, but a little fuzzy

You would hope that they are better than this but I’ll leave it up to you to form an opinion, in general.  All I know is I laughed when I got to the end of this story.
A policeman was interrogating 3 guys who were training to become detectives.

To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first guys a picture for 5 seconds and then hides it.  “This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?”

The first guy answers, “That’s easy, we’ll catch him fast because he only has one eye!” The policeman says, “Well…uh…that’s because the picture I showed is his side profile.”

Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for 5 seconds at the second guy and asks him, “This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?”

The second guy smiles, flips his hair, and says, “Ha! He’d be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!”

The policeman angrily responds, “What’s the matter with you two?? Of course only one eye and one ear are showing because it’s a picture of his side profile! Is that the best answer you can come up with?”

Extremely frustrated at this point, he shows the picture to the third guy and in a very testy voice asks, “This is your suspect, how would you recognize him? He quickly adds, “Think hard before giving me a stupid answer.”

The third guy looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, “the suspect wears contact lenses.”

The policeman is surprised and speechless because he really doesn’t know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not.

“Well, that’s an interesting answer. Wait here for a few minutes while I check his file and I’ll get back to you on that.”  He leaves the room and goes to his office, checks the suspect’s file on his computer, and comes back with a beaming smile on his face.

“Wow! I can’t believe it. It’s TRUE! The suspect does, in fact, wear contact lenses. Good work!  How were you able to make such an astute observation?”

“That’s easy,” the third guy replied.”  He can’t wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear.”

I’m not moving but I wonder if it isn’t time to change my area code to somewhere really random

I have been through this before.

My phone number has 8 of 9 numbers either repeating or in sequence. It is a popular one to use.

That’s the problem. More people than I are using it.

I end up going through “fusillades” of wrong numbers.

If you are presented with a form that wants you to fill in name, address, and phone number, and it is a legitimate use, you enter your own correct information.

But you want to sign up for a discount card and you don’t want the company of the day calling you and emailing you and harassing you for a measly dollar off coupon what do you do?

Many people use my phone number.

Mind you, sometimes I never hear it.

The last really big problem ended up with my blocking every single car dealer in South Florida. Some clown, and I have stronger names for those people, used my number on an intake form at a car dealership.

I don’t know, maybe they were giving away a set of CDs or some such nonsense that this person really wanted.

Good luck getting that number removed.

Over the span of about 2 weeks I had to have had about 100 phone calls from multiple people at specific dealers talking to a potential customer about what great deals they have.

Except.

That wasn’t me, it was my phone, and I am quite happy with my Classic-Car-Almost-Antique 2002 Jeep Wrangler.

I’d be a fool to give that car up.

It has the 4 Liter inline six cylinder motor for crying out loud.

Designed by AMC for crying out loud!

For crying out loud!
Why would I want some junky Volkswagen? (aren’t they all? Dieselgate anyone?)

Every time I got a call, I’d block the number.

I installed Mr Number to do the heavy lifting for me.

I block any “Unknown” or “Spam Suspected” calls.

Area Code 732 is blocked completely.
Ok, that last one is because it’s chock full of Indian Recruiters from Edison NJ. I have zero connections in that area code. If you are a recruiter, be from where I am at, or be from where the company is at, and have a signed contract to represent that company.

Anyway…

I get a wrong number about twice a day since the US is so abysmal in protecting the rights of customers. I guess a Congressman has to allow us to be abused because they are being paid by the lobbyists to allow them to spam people.

The other day, coming back from the park and a workout, they struck.

I was stuck in traffic waiting for the light and construction at Federal Highway and Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. My phone rang.

Random person identified with a name I didn’t know.

I did what I do with “Rand-o’s” I picked up and said nothing.

Neither did they.

They tried back three times.

In FIVE minutes.

After that it was someone else. BangBangBangBang.

Today it was someone asking about real estate in Sarasota. Then they texted me with the same question.

“When can I talk to you about property in the Sarasota Florida Area?”

I texted back “Never. Someone gave you my wrong number so they could sign up for a give away”.

People, don’t ever do that. Almost all numbers in the US in most urbanized areas are used. You are only shifting your problem onto someone else.

So I’m debating where I want my phone to live.

Not me, just the phone number.

Somewhere I have never been, and never intend to be.

Idaho? Rural Montana? Some terrible place like Mississippi?

Mississippi is the place in the US that almost everyone can look down at due to the obvious things like low scores on education, civil rights, and economy. And more!

Think of Norfolk UK and all those jokes about the people there.

So I am debating.

I have had this number here in Fort Lauderdale since 2003. I got it when we decided we were going to move here, and we did three years later. Family and friends have this number.

So having some weirdly random area code like an area in a rural area means I have to give it out, explain it isn’t local because “Reasons”, and then block any calls from that area code. If I do that, the robocallers won’t get through and it will be quiet again.

I hear that Mobile Alabama can be nice in the winter, but Alabama? It’s only one state better than Mississippi!
At least I would be able to drive home from the park and not be asked to buy a condo in Sarasota, no matter how nice it would be there.

The other day I fell asleep on a clock. I actually woke up on time

One day a man decided to retire…

He booked himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life, that is, until the ship sank.

He soon finds himself on an island with no other people, no supplies, nothing, only bananas and coconuts.

After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore.

In disbelief, he asks, “Where did you come from? How did you get here?”

She replies, “I rowed over from the other side of the island where I landed when my fishing boat sank.” “Amazing,” he notes. “You were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with you.”

“Oh, this ole thing?” explains the woman. ” I made the boat out of some raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm tree branches, and the sides and stern came from an Eucalyptus tree.”

“But, where did you get the tools?”

“Oh, that was no problem,” replied the woman. ” On the south side of the island, a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock is exposed. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in a volcanic vent I found just down island, it melted into ductile iron and I used that to make tools and used the tools to make the hardware.”

The guy is stunned.

“Let’s row over to my place,” she says “and I’ll give you a tour.” So, after a short time of rowing, she soon docks the boat at a small hand built wharf. As the man looks to shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is a long stone walk leading to a cabin and tree house.

While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man can only stare ahead, dumb struck. As they walk into the house, she says casually, It’s not much, but I call it home.

Please sit down.” “Would you like a drink?”

“No! No thank you,” the man blurts out, still dazed. “I can’t take another drop of coconut juice.”

“Oh, it’s not coconut juice,” winks the woman. “I have a still. How would you like a Jack Daniels neat?” Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they exchange their individual survival stories, the woman announces, “I’m going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There’s a razor in the bathroom cabinet upstairs.”

No longer questioning anything, the man goes upstairs into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism.

“This woman is amazing,” he muses. “What’s next?”

When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but a bandana around her blonde locks and some small flowers on tiny vines, each strategically positioned. She smelled faintly of coconut oil. She then beckons for him to sit down next to her.

“Tell me,” she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, “We’ve both been out here for many months. You must have been lonely. When was the last time you had a really good ride?”

She stares into his eyes.
He can’t believe what he’s hearing.

“You mean…” he swallows excitedly as tears start to form in his eyes,

“You’ve built a Motorcycle?”

I finally understood Einstein’s theory of relativity. It was about time.

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich bird behind him.

The waitress asks them for their orders.

The man says, ‘A hamburger, fries and a coke,’ and turns to the ostrich, ‘What’s yours?’

‘I’ll have the same,’ says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order ‘That will be $9.40 please,’ and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, ‘A hamburger, fries and a coke’

The ostrich says, ‘I’ll have the same’

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again.

‘The usual?’ asks the waitress.

‘No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad,’ says the man. ‘Same,’ says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, ‘That will be $32.62.’

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer.

“Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?”

Says the man, “Well, several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes.

The first wish I asked was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.”

The waitress said “That’s brilliant! Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live. How smart of you!”

“That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact amount of money is always there” says the man proudly.

The waitress asks, “But, what’s that ostrich all about?”

The man sighs, pauses and answers with a heavy heart, “My second wish was for a tall chick with long legs who accompanies me wherever I go and agrees with everything I say”.

Once Again, Walk In The Grass, Rack

A Police Officer who was a dog handler once said: “On their best day, they’re still a dog.”

Then again, I heard of a rancher who once said: “If you can’t train a McNab, you can’t train a dog.”

Toe-may-toes, Toe-mah-toes.

You see, my boy Rack has a problem.  He’s got horrible aim.

Oh, sure, he lifts his leg often.  But as we’re walking along, I make sure that my own leg is well away from his.

I don’t think I need to be watered, I’m quite tall enough.

Stand upwind, about 4 to 6 feet away, and watch where he’s going.

He’s pure black and white, with a bit of yellow on his feet after a walk.

Oh I have heard many male dogs suffer from bad aim.  You can’t really train him to “sit down” while he pees, I would expect the problem move from one of his feet to a big ol’ stripe down his white patch on his belly.

I gave up obsessing about his aim.  After all, he’s about 5 now.  He’s doing what he’s going to do and that’s that.

Early on, we realized we had a problem with him being crosseyed when he’s pointing, figuratively of course.  Since there’s a porch in front of the house and the water spigot for the garden is right there next to the porch, we solved it.  A Semi Permanent addition to the porch is a garden hose with a spray attachment is sitting draped over the iron railing and charged with water.

Water saver, of course.

We fell into a routine.

I would successfully get out of the way of his watering efforts, then when we get home, I would use the hose.

Every.  Blasted.  Walk.

Three.  Times.  A.  Day.

I take him to the hose, soak down his feet.  The white part of his legs, all four of them, turn from yellow to white.  He is no longer a “Yellow Footed Collie” but a “Wet Footed Collie”.

Originally we would go inside at this point but that left little paw prints of water everywhere and I found myself going to find the mop more often than not.

Then I got the bright idea to walk him once around the tree in front of the house.  I stopped that when I realized my own feet had tramped down a path making the house look wrong.

So Training the Dog to walk around the yard on his own was successful.

Him walking in the grass would get extra water off his feet and brush his toes to get any extra detritus from between them.

A strategically placed mat inside the door soaked up what was left.

However, “On His Best Day…”  He would act like a kid.

Once out into the yard, he’d start cutting corners.  Shorter loops around the car, and eventually he is skipping the grass all together.   More things are getting tracked indoors.

Does this sound like a five year old kid to you?

Eager to please but needing an adjustment, I started telling him to go back out and do it again.

And again… until he manged to walk the grass.

Turf, really, this St Augustine Grass we have in South Florida is more like a carpet or that fake astroturf stuff they put in football stadiums that isn’t all that pleasant to fall on.

It’s taken him about a week to get used to the routine, but Dog Logic being Dog Logic, it’s not completely perfect.

He now thinks that you do it twice.  Once to cut corners, a second time to actually walk the grass around the car.

At least it’s getting done.

He seems to like the routine.  As he’s doing it “wrong” the first time, he’s got a smile on his doggy face.

“Nope!  Walk in the grass, Boy!”.

Brown eyes flash at me, smile resets, and he does it right.

When he gets out to the tail of the car “Good Boy!” and I get a “wag right” to prove that he’s happy about it all.

Happy dog wags tail right, not-completely-happy dog wags tail left.

Ok, so it’s not perfect, but it is entertaining.