I just had an idea, thought I'd share it in case it helps someone :)
One of my plans for my future is to install an RMH when I add on to my house. Not only for efficiency, but because I think it would be easier to get sticks/branches than split firewood when I'm old and rickety. I try to plan for independence as long as I'll be able to be independent, if that makes sense.
ANYWAY - I had the thought this morning that some dogs are super duper motivated by throwing sticks and I wondered if you could train a smart dog to go through the woods and just bring back random sticks in a pile. I bet if you were good at dog training (which I am not) you could probably train your dog to do this, and have "sessions" where they just go into the woods (if you have woods) and find random sticks and branches and bring them back to pile up. Would be a really great way to get fuel for the aforementioned RMH if you're past the age of being able to really do a lot of physical stuff.
I could totally picture myself doing that when I'm 80, sitting in a chair and telling my dog to go fetch me a stick, pet it and praise it, and rinse/repeat. Could probably get a winter's worth of wood if you make it a daily habit in the warm weather.
Just me and my kids, off griddin' it - follow along our shenanigans at our YouTube Uncle Dutch Farms.
I trained one of our Dachshunds to pickup firewood while we were at a campground. The campground had a rule that you could not pickup wood that was larger than your finger and about as long as a pencil. So that is what she picked. Of course it was just a game. I pointed at the wood, she picked it up and carried it to the campsite. It amused my fellow campers, too!
According to these ... it can be done:
This is funny because it is a Dachshund:
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work.
I met a dog who knew that he was supposed to bring all small pieces of firewood to the pickup truck. All of the little wrist size stuff was gathered by the dog and the guy cutting the wood loaded everything that was too big for a dog's mouth. A pretty good division of labor.
You just have to make sure they don't snarl over every piece, when you try to burn it, the way they do if you try to take the one that you've been throwing into the ocean over and over again.
Note to self: don't get into a fist fight with a cactus. Command this tiny ad to do it: