Saturday, December 16, 2017

New Steps for an Aging Beagle


Lily the Beagle

Lily and I have a special relationship.  I say she is my baby now that the twins are 24 years old.  Don and the twins say we are co-dependent.  They are probably correct. We have had her 5 1/2 years.  I worked from home until I retired last year, so we spend most of our time together (and yes she sleeps with me, even in the 23A).  At 9 1/2 years old she is turning gray and starting to show other signs of being an old lady.  I spoil her just like I did the kids when they were little.

This summer, she got too frisky and tore the ligaments in her hind leg.  Major surgery was required which would include a hospital stay, four weeks of kennel confinement and then four more weeks of no jumping or climbing.  Sessions of aqua therapy would start after week four.  Well, that is the normal plan.  I agreed to the surgery, but the after care wasn’t going to work.  The doctor just stared at me for a moment - Don sat quietly knowing I was dead serious. After explaining her previous experience in a kennel in their office where she howled/barked for the hour while they observed her (and she was under some sedation), he agreed they would keep her only as long as possible.

So, Lily came home 30 minutes after her surgery was completed.  For the next four weeks one of us (mainly me) stayed by her side on a twin size mattress on the floor of the master bedroom.  The only time she left the mattress was to go potty. For the second four weeks she was allowed to walk around the house and sit on the couch with us, but had to be watched carefully as she felt better and would try jumping.

Week eight was over just in time for our trip to Fort Collins, Colorado.  Lily was good to go except she didn’t need to be jumping.  (Her preferred method is jumping on the couch, then onto the driver side bed, then over to the other bed.)  So, for this trip we packed the foam steps that we have for her to use in our bedroom at home. They served their purpose, but man were they bulky.  She’d need a better set for our next trip.

To Amazon I go and find a set of foldable steps that are 28 inches tall.  This is important so the top step is at the top of the bed cabinet.  The step fits between the foot of the driver side bed and the couch, this keeps it from sliding and leaves half of the bottom step clear for Lily to use. It also keeps the stairs out of the walkway.  Although you can only open the refrigerator door part way without moving the stairs, it opens wide enough for us to get most of what we need the majority of the time.  We are currently trying to decide the best place to store the steps while driving. So far we have just laid them on top of the bed or stowed them in them shower.

How does Lily like her new stairs?  Well, she apparently doesn’t like me referring to her as an old lady that needs stairs.  On our recent trip to Disney World, the first day she refused to use them and literally jumped over them.  But after several long walks the second day, she started feeling the old joints and started climbing the stairs into the coach and up onto the bed.  By the end of the trip we knew they were going going to be a permanent fixture.

Here’s what we bought:

PetSafe Solvit PupSTEP Plus Pet Stairs, X-Large, Foldable Steps for Dogs and Cats, Best for Medium to Large Pets

Winnebago Fuse PetSafe Stairs

Winnebago Fuse PetSafe Stairs

1 comment:

  1. Bless your hearts! Lucy looks like a sweetie. I have an 8 yo baying beagle girl!