Our Bichon Frise “puppy” is now fifteen. Poor little Sprite is on medication for arthritis, and several other infirmities. She has recently started staking out her place on our sofa because she simply does not enjoy walking around the house.
The last several months she has gotten even more tired than before. She is perfectly content to just laze -around on the sofa, not even worried about following me around the house. Every once in a while I see her opening her eyes and peering out to make sure I am still downstairs. She definitely prefers her little area on the sofa. She’s a dog of habits, and she “knows” the sofa.
Anyway, she has gotten to a point where our backyard patio has become a problem. Our patio has a drop of about eighteen inches. A few months ago, we noticed that Sprite would sometimes stumble and hit her chest and jaw after jumping to the grass. She absolutely refuses to use the deck’s step, insisting that her jumping-off location remain the same as she has always used.
We had a dilemma… We were afraid that she was going to hurt herself when she jumped off the deck. We started thinking that we would have to build a ramp of some sort so that she could walk down to the grass. The ramp was going to have to be built in the same location that she insists is her jumping-off spot.
My son and I went over to some of the home improvement/building stores to see what we could come up with. We would have to build the ramp, somehow attach it, make sure it was sanded so that Sprite wouldn’t hurt herself, ETC!!! Yikes!
In the meantime, I decided to see what I could find at the local pet stores. We had tried getting Sprite little steps, but those failed miserably. She simply refused to use them… even with us tugging at her collar and trying to coax her with little treats.
And then it came to me… What about those dog ramps that dogs use to get in and out of cars. Anyway, the long and short of it is that Sprite loves using her ramp to go down to the grass. We no longer worry about our dog falling because her legs aren’t strong enough for her to make the jump.