MadPea is hosting a Pet Friends Fair for all of us that cherish our furry, feathered, fancy, freaky, and finned pet friends.  The MadPea Pet Friends Fair runs from June 30th till July 20th.  There are five amazing companies who have partnered with MadPea to bring you this event, Wilds of Organica, T|L|C, VKC, Teegle Pets, and Alchemy/Birdy.  We will be bringing you some in-depth interviews, so you can get to know them and their wonderful products.

Our subject for this interview is the Virtual Kennel Club or VKC. Owner Enrico Genosse has had some pesky RL interference which sadly kept him from being interviewed for this article.  However, he graciously referred us to his Head Dogsbody, Sandry Logan, who has been with VKC since Autumn of 2006, and is a fountain of knowledge for all things VKC!

Asking how she discovered Second Life, Sandry had an answer I hadn’t heard before. “Back in early 2006, I found an article on the BBC website containing a rather overused and incorrect reference to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by author Philip K. Dick.” She continued, “During the previous summer I had read Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash.  Reading the article, I was thinking ‘oh my word, they made the metaverse’. The next thing I knew, I had my credit card in hand (I think I moved it from the other room by telekinesis without realizing) and I was signing up!”

One of the lovely large breeds from VKC

Inquiring about her first Virtual Kennel Club animal, she told me “In September 2006, my friend Blu and I came across the VKC Dog Park in Caledon.  As we peeped over the wall we saw Enrico typing to his dog, and as he stopped the dog sat down.”  Sandry added, “We were hooked!  A short time later we both purchased dogs, and not long after that we met and became friends with Enrico, and working with him too!”

VKC Animals come with lots of interactive features

The first VKC creation was a Bloodhound, made of prims, back in 2006.  Sandry’s personal favorite dogs to date are the Series II Bloodhound because it is an updated version of the very first VKC dog with all the new modern tools.  After the new version of the Bloodhound, she loves the Landseer, due to his striking build and the mixed breed puppies due to the cute factor, especially where there are more than one running around.

When quizzed if she knew what inspired Enrico to create the VKC animals, this was Sandry’s reply. “Enrico told us back at the beginning he wanted to create some sort of AI agent that would react and interact with the Second Life environment,” Sandry told me.  “While he was pondering what the agent could be, his real dog Tweezer came and sat on his lap.”  She exclaimed, “Tweezer himself, was Enrico’s inspiration!”

VKC Animals can even fetch and carry their toys!

Sandry’s own personal reasons for creating are a bit different.  “It’s the joy, and the challenge, of bringing all the disparate parts of the pets together: modeling, texturing, programming, animation, to make a virtual animal that runs over to greet you when you log in,” she explained.  Sandry also remarked, “there is also an enormous pleasure in seeing the joy they bring to other people.”

VKC takes the time to create natural movement in the creations to help bring a realness factor to them.

I remarked on how real that all the animals looked, and got told about their secret weapons, “Lots and lots of photo references plus having Blu and Aztek on the VKC team.”  Sandry went on to say,  “They both have extensive experience with animals in real life, making the difference in our designs.”

Take the time to check out the Virtual Kennel Club for all their wonderful and creative creations.  Who knows?  You might come home with a new best friend or two.