Tip — Dogs Can Help Find Lost Items

posted Sep 26, 2011, 2:58 PM by Rosanna Himmel   [ updated Sep 26, 2011, 3:55 PM ]

A while ago my partner remembered he had installed a transparent camera on the island around 2 years ago and only vaguely remembered where they were. We had built a lot of trees with huge transparent prims and didn't want to derender them all, so I called one of my dogs and said "fido go camera". The dog flew up to the sky and stopped immediately in front of the camera. That was really cool and my partner was quite impressed.

A few weeks ago we wanted to clean up all the tp stones he had also installed years ago, leading to sims that ceased to exist a long time ago. Again we didn't find them as we had built stuff around/above them. "fido go stone" really made it. Our dog showed us each hidden tp stone!

And three days ago I took down the weather system and the snow. I was convinced my partner had only rezzed two weather systems, I had deleted them including emitters but there was still snow  falling down from the sky. Nothing in the air. I even wrote to the creator and thought it's like particles that stay even if the prim is gone. Yesterday my partner mentioned there might be a third weather system somewhere inside the mountain (!). I didn't know where to send the dog but I tried a few different to look and said, "fido go weather". Suddenly my dog ran against the rock and couldn't get inside. Then I remembered the the flags for the moveto command and how they could be added to on, run, and go. So, I told her, "fido go weather 8" and off she went. To locate her I said, "fido ping". My dogs replied with the coordinates of her location and I teleported to her inside the rock. There in front of me was the hidden third weather system. No more snow on my parcel now.

The story I like best is about our mini hunt for my partner's RL workshop participants. They need to find a hidden object and if they click it they can win a RL workshop. I need to add that most of these people are real newbies with bad computers, slow Internet connections, and little enthusiasm about virtual worlds, IF they come, they only come to socialize. So… one of them asked if he could have the dogs help him find the item. I said, "If you manage to call the dog with you over half of the sim and the dog is in around 10 meters distance of the item, she will actually help you." I was so touched and impressed watching him hunt together with my dog. In the end he finally found the item that way.

Asking your dog to find lost items can sometimes take a bit of patience and it will not work for all lost things. The following considerations apply.

  • The lost item must be scripted. The dogs are not able to see any old object, but can only see those objects that have an active script inside.
  • The dog must be within range. VKC Dogs can see and hear within a radius of 10 meters. This is why we sometimes must shout at them before they will obey. The same is true with noticing scripted objects — the object must be within 10 meters of the dog.

The practical outcome of these considerations is that you may have to systematically send your dog around the search area and repeat the command to go to the lost item.