Archive for November, 2009

Writer Roland Barnes Interviews Vitolo Rossini – The Dogfather

November 10, 2009

Roland: Hello Vito. My editors and I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to interview you. You have gained the reputation in world as “The Dogfather”, SL’s virtual dog specialist. You also have become well known for your work with Traumatic Brain Injury. What exactly brought you to SL in the first place? 

 

Vitolo: I was in a prolonged coma. A couple of years after starting my road to rehabilitation, I was introduced for the first time to a computer. I recalled a friend mentioning SL, and thought that a virtual world might be a great tool in helping me develop cognitively. Once in SL, a friend I met who also was a TBI survivor and I started a group for TBI survivors. He left SL soon after we met, but the TBI group has remained active, and has a center located 3000 meters over Dogland Park. 

 

Roland: Dogland Park. This brings me to my next question. Dogland Park has become very popular. The group that you direct for owners of VKC dogs, based in Dogland is the largest dog owner group in world, and probably the most active. The loyalty of your fans and those that visit Dogland is unequaled. I myself have seen many changes to the area in Rhoda, and it always gets better. How exactly did Dogland come to be, and can you recount it’s history for us? 

 

Vitolo: I operated a small 5000 meter dog park named Dogland, and operated out of a 30X30 skybox for the better part of a year. My friend Andji bought land in Rhoda, and named it “Canis Beach” The creator of VKC dogs at that time allowed her a “franchise” for lack of a better word. He let her have a set of VKC dogs, and a Clinic at her Canis Beach. The folks from Turing Isle, as I watched were upset that there was another VKC dog park there, and Andji was made to feel apart from this dog enterprise. I then began to hang around at Rhoda’s dog park to help her sell dogs, and to teach classes. I decided to make her dog park the best! As fate would have it, The creator of VKC dogs didn’t like giving her the commission he had promised her, and as she began to upgrade the dog park by buying more land, to better it… the older dog parks got less visits… and Enrico Genosse, the man who designed the VKC dog, cut her commission by a very large percentage. Andji was forced to sell her land. She sold her land for the most part to a gal named Aztek Aeon, who promised to keep her land open and dog friendly, and free of advertising and spam. I then at this time bought the VKC Dog Park, and the surrounding land. A year then followed where Aztek at her “Rescue Park” began overbuilding, and covering her area with billboards, and donation boxes. Her manipulation of her Donation meters and boxes always faced into the VKC dog park. The environment became full of lag, and my group members began complaining. To make this story short, after a year long battle and constant harassment, I was able through a VERY large amount of money, and a large amount of pressure, to get Aztek and her “Rescue Park” gone. She then in an effort to ride on the coattails of Canis Beaches popularity, bought a region, and named it “Canis Beach”. I went to work fast, and changed over 40 websites to reflect a new name. There are well over 1000 members of my group VKC Dog Owners Open Chat, and there is a smaller group that is only made up of Rhoda’s Dog Park Support. This smaller group is 150 member. They unanimously voted on my using my name and the name of my original small park. That was the birth of “Dogland Park-Vitolo Rossini”. 

 

Roland: Thrilling recount. Up until very recently you worked closely with the creator of the VKC dog, but you no longer keep a Vet Clinic on your land. Why did you get rid of the clinic? 

 

Vitolo: Getting rid of the clinic was not my doing. Enrico Genosse has for a long time now been under pressure from the folks at the original VKC park at Turing Isle. They found endless things to complain about, the biggest being that they could not keep up with my public relations efforts, or traffic. Enrico Genosse himself was upset that my name was the first name that came to mind when VKC Dogs were mentioned. So he decided to take his clinic and dogs, to “regain control of VKC”. 

 

Roland: Fact is , your name is still the first name that comes to mind when any Virtual Dog is mentioned. Has this removal of the Clinic and dogs hurt your work, or slowed down the activities at your Dogland Park? 

 

Vitolo: No. Folks still come often. Buyers of new dogs from all the other dog parks contact me daily, and come to Dogland, to get free supplies, doghouses, dishes, and to have their dogs trained. If anything the removal of the clinic has made the 5 groups come together in a show of support. Folks come to Dogland and see the various breeds there, and they have now begun to pre-order fully trained VKC Dogs from us. A member of the Dogland support team or myself will then instantly run and get them the dog they asked for, one of us trains the dog while another explains all of the dogs functions to the new owners. Class attendance has become larger now as well. 

 

Roland: I did not know that there were 5 groups at Dogland. Can you tell us what the 5 groups are and how they differ? 

 

Vitolo: Sure thing. 

1- VKC Dog Owners Open Chat Group – 1160 members VKC dog owners that support the events and activities at Rhoda. They get free new dog inventions made for use with VKC dogs, and all update information as well as information about new features. This information is delivered unfiltered, and openly, whether approved by the owner of VKC or not. 

2- Dogland Training Group- 150 members This group is comprised of Dogland VIP’s. They offer visitors Support and information about VKC dogs, and other SL pets, as well as tours of Dogland and help with supplies, training, dog recovery, and more. They also assist in all event and contest planning. and in the monitoring of the area for undesirable activities. 

3- Working Dog Handlers- 39 members These folks are individuals that use the dogs for various types of working dog activities. The group is comprised of people interested in; law enforcement, military, search rescue, & agility. We have events that include water rescue, fire rescue, search/rescue, bomb recovery/detonation, and of course protection work. 

4-Harmonious Society of Peaceful Fist-22 members A group devoted to exchange and activities involving the peaceful applications in a virtual world, of Martial Arts philosophies. These folks are rl martial arts enthusiasts/practitioners. They are mostly all dog owners as well. Here we study and discuss “Wu Xia”. This means martial Chivalry. Doing good for others in order to increase the greater good. Creating better Karma. 

5- Survivors of TBI- 74 members We are either Survivors of Coma, or other Traumatic Brain Injuries… or our friends and family. The group has an RL physician that specializes in the rehabilitation of Brain Injury. There are “TBI Survivors” in the group, and “TBI Supporters”. We have 2 Nurses for consultation. We also have two members on call every night and a hotline, for members to reach me or my wife directly 24/7. There are regular outings and activities, and there is a TBI Center located 3000 meters above Dogland Park. It is up high for privacy, and to facilitate frank discussion, with other members, in a discreet environment. We hold phone and skype conferences with members so that they may remain in world, but be assured complete conversation privacy. The members of this group also are almost all dog owners. 

 

Roland: Wow. That is a lot that you have going on there. I have one last question. Why Dogs? 

 

Vitolo: I love dogs. IN RL I was a dog trainer for law enforcement agencies. After my coma, I became involved with Service dog training. I have high energy, and my enthusiasm shows through. So, I use the dogs as a focus point. While the dog owners are distracted by their interest in their dogs… the back door is left open, and information seeps in. A successful learning experience with the dogs, adds to ones self concept, creating a more confident SL. Having more confidence in SL, seeps over into our RL. This occurs through the subconscious. We deposit our “epiphanies” or “Aha! moments” in our minds, and they reflect themselves in our very dreams! this allows us to have dreams of completion, rather than dreams of frustration. We can then face RL in a more confident way… all from success and learning with a Virtual Dog! 

 

Roland: Vito, this has been fascinating! I want to thank you for your time, and I am sure I am not alone, in telling you, “Keep up the good work”. What you do in SL for many people is very important!

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Writer ReRe Sandalwood Interviews Vitolo Rossini – The Dogfather

November 10, 2009

A Man and His Dogs: A Closer look at Dogland Park by ReRe Sandalwood (Article for Queen Magazine) 

The notion of having a virtual reality dog may confuse many, but it is not confusing to Vitolo Rossini. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivor in real life, Rossini has dedicated his real and second life to the use of virtual reality dogs. Affectionately known as the SL Dog Whisperer, Rossini functions as the owner and creator of Dogland Park, Rhoda. 

Dogland Park is such a unique experience, you will initially see nothing but land and virtual canines. The dogs may first appear motionless, but like a phoenix that rises from the ashes, they quickly move toward a prospective customer in a determined frenzy. This frenzy is heartwarming because like real life dogs, the VKC dogs are playful, protective and furry. Yet Rossini’s VKC dog companions came about as a consequence of tragedy. In real life, Rossini was involved in a terrible accident that resulted in him being in a coma for five and a half weeks. “…after my coma…” he explains, “I was blessed with an ability to easily learn how to understand the dogs scripted vocabulary, and then to envision, as a cartoon, choreographed moves, sounds and timing to create fun illusions with the VKC dogs.” From there, Rossini began to pursue his goal of training VKC dogs in April 2007. 

In addition to training VKC dogs, Rossini has also helps with a Veterinary Clinic to better assist VKC dog owners. While one may dismiss the importance of this clinic, Rossini asserts, “The Veterinary Clinic is important because [it relies on] this marvelous record keeping system keeps a record of all dogs and all dog owners, as well as transfer histories on all dogs. People can go to the Vet Clinic, and reclaim a lost dog, or update a dog that may not function perfectly. Of course, a reclaimed dog retains all the learning that was provided to them prior to their ‘Vet visit.’” According to Rossini, other uses of the Veterinary Clinic include keeping a system to analyze the dogs’ chain of custody, as well as preventing security breaches, and regulating various ownership disputes. 

With the help of a dozen Dogland Park employees, Rossini is able to welcome returning owners and their dogs back to Dogland Park. According to Rossini, this not only acts as positive reinforcement for virtual canine owners, it also maintains an environment free from consumer pressure. Yet while Rossini’s business places no financial pressure on the customers served, it does reflect the personal, fashion oriented taste of its consumers. Opal Edman, Dogland employee, reiterates this claim by stating, “…the celebs are all carrying little dogs, the little ones we sell can be carried .” Yet no matter what motivations you have in visiting this fascinating dog park, Queen readers should remember that Dogland Park Rhoda is a wonderful place for second lifers who look to dogs for companionship.

Writer Summer Wardhani Interviews Vitolo Rossini

November 10, 2009

Writer Summer Wardhani Has a Candid Chat With Vitolo Rossini

 

Q- How did you became a dog supply creator in SL ?

Vito: I began creating, as I saw the need to have toys and HUDs, beds and dishes available to all folks in SL, regardless of their financial status. While I was doing this, I decided to make the items scripted for dogs better and more easy to use by all.

Q- Do you work alone or with a team ? Did you had any previous experience in Rl working with scripts ? How did you learnt scripting in SL ?

Vito: I work with no team. I do support creator Enrico Genosse’s work however… What I do is write, or “choreograph” tricks for the dogs to do, that appear very real. I also test features for the dogs, and troubleshoot to see why certain owners have specific problems with the dogs. In short, I work alone, as an independent agent. I do own the best Dog Park in world, Dogland Dog Park , in Rhoda, where I am proud to be a Trainer, and teacher.

Q-Vitolo, why dogs ? I mean, how did you decide to become *The DogFather* ?

Vito: In RL I was a lifetime Martial Artist and Dog Trainer. I was thrust into a 5 1/2 week Coma.. My life and fame were turned around. I came to sl to try to learn new ways to think, and I found the dogs. I discovered I had an uncanny gift for understanding the language of the dogs learning.. so I began to write tricks. The Dogs have helped me to feel success, and as in rl.. Success begets further success. So I decided to try to help all residents of sl, find some success at different levels, through the use of dogs.

Q- I am aware they are an important element in the work you’ve been doing with TBI people – how do you think dogs in SL may be of help to all those people ?

Vito: The Feeling of accomplishment from a successful canine interaction brings confidence to my TBI survivor group members. This confidence is carried over into RL.

Q- Would you explain in few simple words how do the dogs “learn” some more complex commands, besides those basic ones they bring along at the very beginning ?

Vito: I, using the language structure that is allowed for the dogs… link together the “poses” and grammatical rules, with directions and sounds.. to create an “Illusion”. This incorporates the psychological perceptions, of Visual and Auditory closure, to make a “Flip-Book” type animation of the dog, which then actually performs the “learned tricks”. The dogs can learn endless combinations of the poses that I chain together.

Q- Is it hard to train a dog ? Are there any classes or support from you or your team?

Vito: It is difficult to train a dog well. I offer classes at no cost to anyone. There is an ten week course one hour each Wednesday, at Dogland. On the tenth week there is a one hour “crash ” course, and the 10 week cycle begins again. The Classes are at the Dogland Training Area, just below my workshop. The times are Every Wednesday at noon and at 5 p.m. sl time. Supplies are provided.

Q- How do they decide which breed / kind of dog are you going to create next ?

Vito: The creator of VKC dogs Enrico Genosse decides on the next breed in various ways. The most recent way that he felt was fair was to hold a “breed election”. This was how the German Shepherd was brought into being.

Q- Are there any products for sale at Dogland besides dogs ? Which ? What are the most popular ?

Vito: There are products for sale for VKC dogs. Most of the things that are for sale for VKC dogs can be gotten at little or no cost from me directly. There are many other types of pets and items for sale at Dogland also. The prices vary for these pets, items, and supplies , but as I said I provide them at no cost to those who ask. The most popular of the items so far… are “Complete Supplies for VKC dogs”- a box of 26 toys 2 regular beds..one touch bed.. a dog sign and 4 dishes. this set is sold for L$50 in world and at X Street. It is free to dog Owners in world that contact me. The next most popular item is my HUD for VKC dogs. It has 32 functions(and a secret 33rd). It also is available at X Street, or in world for L$75. Again, free with any request!

Q- Yes, I’ve heard about Free Alpha Pets as well… would you like to tell me what are those ?

Vito: Free Alpha Pets. Good question. I have a series of 57 dog “cutouts” they are photos of dogs, that are free standing. They are 2 dimensional, and don’t move about. They bark on touch… They have inside of each dogs contents, a few toys dishes and a doghouse. They are actually props. But a prop dog that barks.. of your favorite breed, standing in back yard… with dishes toys and doghouse… is better than no dog to a new SL resident, with no funds yet! I have to date provided over 1000 free Alpha Pets to new Residents.

Writer Carmichael Caudron Interviews Vitolo Rossini – The Dogfather

November 10, 2009

THE DOGFATHER 

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Vitolo, his nephew, Trainer Danny06 Aya and the dogs are always ready to help others with Dogland’s dogs

 

by Carmichael Caudron (Article for Oi Magazine)

 

Hello, I am Carmichael Caudron and back to present you our next innovative story in Oi magazine

I’ve always been intrigued by this gentleman for almost 2 years now.

He is very genuine person who helps because he wants to, and in SL™ he does it by helping dogowners with their scripted A.I. dogs for very little profit, just by whatever tips he receives.

You can imagine my curiousity and others who have known about him for such a long time in the grid, what the story is behind his avatar and what sort of news he has brewing for us.

Well,I caught up with him and he agreed for an interview,may I present to you,Vitolo Rossini,the Dogfather

 

Carmichael Caudron: Hello Mr Rossini and thank you for giving us your time for this interview.

You are known grid wide as the Dogfather,could you explain how you got to be known as that?

 

Vitolo Rossini:*In rl I have worked with dogs for an adult lifetime. 

I wear a shirt exactly the same as the one I wear in world. 

I was gifted a Dogfather shirt, and was trying it on when my friend and fellow VKC enthusiast and park owner, Andji Piek, as a gesture of humor, changed my group tag from “Dogland Dogmaster” to “The Dogfather”. 

Those who do know me in rl thought it a funny coincidence that I was given the same nickname in SL™. 

I wore the tag proudly, and in everything I do, I try to live up to the responsibility of this distinction.

 

CC: Awesome,it is indeed the perfect name for you here in SL™.

What made you interested in developing a career in dog training in Second Life®?

 

VR:*I was in a prolonged coma. When I woke up after 5 1/2 weeks, I was not the same person. 

I thought that my lifelong career as a Martial Artist and Dog Trainer were over. They indeed were over in RL. 

I found that in SL™, I could have my life back, in both areas. In martial arts I could present to SL™ peaceful philosophy. 

In the world of dogs, I found that I could improve lives through, as residents willingly learn how to control their pets. 

I was able through study of everything that it takes to make a virtual dog function to learn, how to include a Virtual dog in anyone’s SL™ lifestyle. 

The bottom line is; Dogs in SL™ can improve every area of ones life, and therby give a fuller more confident outlook in RL.

 

 

CC: Inspiring…It is known in the grid you were in a coma,because you suffered a traumatic brain injury in your real life.

Could you tell us if it’s ok how long ago that happened and how are you feeling?

 

VR:* I am alive. This is a good feeling.

The truth. I am in great pain, but I take medications, and I go to Physical Therapy 3 times a week. 

I will have to do this for the rest of my life. 

The accident was over 5 years ago, but I am functioning amazingly well according to all the doctors. 

Working in SL™, has been largely responsible for my intellectual re-developement.

Every time someone tells me they love their VKC dog, or tells me that they have enjoyed the Dog Parks I have donated to the public, I feel good. 

I feel as if the world could not be brighter. 

I found a way to beat anything negative. 

Every time I touch a residents life, for their happiness… I feel great, and no physical pain in my body can rob me of the fact

that I helped another

 

CC: You can train any brand of dogs in the grid,is that correct?Which do you train currently?

 

VR:* I can work with and explain any brand of dog in the grid. I only recommend two brands of SL™ dog, and I only endorse, and service these two. 

These are VKC dogs, and D&D dogs. The others are simple dropdown menu pets, that claim to be AI but are not. 

D&D dogs are a canine robotic companion. 

They are sturdy, and I can repair and service these pets.

VKC dogs are the only example of actual Artificial Intelligence in world. There are chatbots, and all kinds of things called “AI”, but the VKC dog is the only dog in world that can learn from it’s environment. 

These I can train and troubleshoot inside out!

 

CC: How many dogs in Second Life® do you personally own and which are your favorites if any?

 

VR:* I personally own 8 SL™ dogs. I do have favorites. Annie the Newfoundland has a long history of being the class model, and I am truly fond of her. “In Thanks” a gift from the creator Enrico Genosse, has been my long standing and faithful demo dog. As a breed, 

I love the German Shepherds.( who wouldn’t)

 

CC: That’s awesome,…Vit,You have a group called VKC dog owners,what is its purpose?

 

VR: * The groups purpose is twofold. 

1- We are here to announce and get out information on any new features added to the dogs. Update info is also sent. What separates this group from the other group, 

is that we also are allowed to send out new dog inventions, exciting toys, and new dog clothing items, which is prohibited in the other VKC group.

2- We are here to support Dogland dog Park, and all of the exciting events, activities, and “special deals” available to Members of this group.

This group is a little bit more lenient in its approach to members chatting. if the conversation slips slightly away from VKC dogs, to rl dogs… we let that go, 

in an effort to let members feel that they have expressed themselves.

 

 

CC: Those who know you have also seen you became the owner of a dogpark named Dogland for dog owners to play freely in there with their dogs and practise their tricks that they have learned from you,how big is the park and what else is the park used for,any events?

 

VR: *The actual Dogland area encompasses about 64,000 square meters, and yes there are events. We just finished the VKC Tribute Chopper Show, from Mayhem Choppers. 

We have regular Prize Lotteries that are free to enter. 

There are gold hunts, for cash value gold coins, Music, and more.

 

 

CC: That is so great to hear how well it is going with Vitolo’s Dogland!

Primarily it is used for lessons,how long is a complete lesson for one dog owner?

 

VR: * A complete “orientation”, teaching an owner just about everything they will need to know, along with giving them a bit of practice is about 45 minutes. 

Some take longer. 

We must never rush this process, as one never knows a dog owners first language, or other limitations they may be functioning with.

The course after this, lasts for ten weeks. That is 10 sessions each an hour long. 

This covers all about training a VKC dog. The class is ongoing, and is repeated every 10 weeks.

There is never a charge for the class or materials.

 

CC: What has been the most complex trick you ever made for a dog and how does it work?

 

VR:* I taught a VKC Rottweiler to give a tour of the 3 story high TBI Center. He used marks to take the “visitor” to every room of this 11 room , 3 story high complex. 

He traverses the stairs, opens the doors, and even stops a couple of times en route to show you his bed, and to drink from dishes along the way. 

At the end of the tour, he guides you back to lobby.

 

CC: Hahaha omg that is amazing!

Prob takes you awhile to do these,with your work in SL™,do you have any assistants helping you out?

 

VR:*I do. There are Trainers. 

Three of these trainers have passed my personal qualifications to work at Dogland.

There are Dogland aides as well.

My trusted Associate, and SL™ “nephew” is Danny06 Aya. He is fully qualified to train and to speak on my behalf.

The 2 Trainers allowed to work at Dogland along with me, and Danny, are:

Crimson Tizzy & grace Feden.

The Canis Aides that can also answer your questions are;

Kailin Omizu & Daena Whitfield.

There is also a special Support person, Blacky Thorne.

All of the above individuals have a pager on the park, placed in plain view.

 

CC: Do you offer classes or information in different languages yet for non-English speaking ?

 

VR:* Yes. I have a copy of the Manual in all languages. 

Classes are held regularly in Spanish, and classes are repeated for special groups upon request. 

I have done a couple in Portugese, and one in Italian. 

For the languages that I dont speak, I have a Translator, and am willing to use it for anyones special needs. 

Also, we have an interpreter for German speakers. 

Blacky Thorne has been through the classes numerous times, and is available to repeat my classes in German where requested.

 

 

CC:Wow,multi lingual,that’s great and very handy in SL™ especially.

We discussed earlier that martial arts is one of your passions as well,

which style is your preferred one and do you still practise it?

 

VR:* Grins*I am a master of Tae Kwon Do, Ju-Jitsu, and have high standing in other martial arts.

I do Kata ( exercise, and movement forms) in the water, on my off days from Physical Therapy. 

Tai Chi in 4 1/2 feet deep warm water, keeps me moving as best as I can.

 

 

CC: Too cool,i know a bit about Ju-Jitsu,but not much lol

Now I am going to pry and see what I can get out of You on any big plans you have have coming up. Do you have any big plans coming up.

Could you tell us about some of them?

 

VR:*Well,I have a list of events and surprises lined up.

I also have a bunch of exciting inventions to distribute to the group. 

If I say any more here I will ruin surprises.

 

CC: Awwwwwww,Could u give us a hint maybe???

 

VR: *OK,A hint – You have seen my friend Yevad Doobies large Tatra Dog Transporter for VKC Dogs. 

He being the devoted generous man he is is working on a smaller more manuverable vehicle that can transport dogs also!

This will be as all creations that are introduuced at Dogland, free to dog owners that visit!

 

CC: Awesome,thanks for the news,Vitolo!:))

And thank you so much for sitting down and talking to us at Oi magazine.

 

VR: * My pleasure,Carmichael”

 

You can find Vitolo training and inventing more complex continued tricks at the Dogland in Rhoda,

slurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rhoda/175/191/26

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Reporter/Writer:Carmichael Caudron

Photographer Vitolo pics: Fanny Willis

Photographer Landscape pics: Carmichael Caudron