Friday, September 03, 2010
Walk the Planks
My dog isn't old, but he isn't young, either, and we love to go for walks - especially out on beaches (particularly Benson Beach). I have an SUV so it's a bit high off the ground, which wasn't an issue until a little while ago.
Suddenly, when we'd go places, I couldn't get him to jump back into the car to go home. Sometimes it would take 1/2 hour or more to coax him in. Eventually, taking him anywhere just became un-doable. I don't know who missed our outings more.
Then Clancy started whining and acting like he was in pain. But he was still eating well, and everything else was normal. Dr. Larry Goza (Omigod, is there a better vet ANYWHERE?) figured out the problem:
Clancy had herniated disks in the neck and back. No, we didn't do a truckload of X-rays. A cortisone shot, followed by a regimen of pain pills, followed by the equivalent of a non-steroid anti-inflammatory pill once a day seems to have the problem under control.
Clancy was back to his normal self, walking and wagging, and putting on his smile-on-four-legs prance. But he still couldn't get in and out of the SUV.
I scoured the Internet for ramps, etc. Found a great one, but it cost $169. Then I read the reviews, and it won't safely hold a dog that weighs more than 60 pounds. Clancy is a svelte 135 pounds. OK, some don't think he's so svelte.
I kept thinking this is just asinine, there must be an easier (and a hell of a lot cheaper) way to handle this problem. And of course, there was.
It finally occurred to me to go to City Lumber, find a nice pine plank that was 1/2 inch thick, 12 inches wide and 8-feet long. The guy who waited on me kindly cut the plank in half for me. So for $8, I have a 24" wide ramp that is 4 feet long, once the two planks placed side by side.
The next hurdle was convincing Clancy that he really, really wanted to walk the planks to get in the car. It took a bit of doing, but not much.
We went for a ride, and Clancy was so delighted to be going somewhere (anywhere), he joyfully barked at the trees. And parked cars. And clouds. And telephone poles. And damn near everything.
Thank you, Dr. Goza and City Lumber. Clancy thanks you, too.
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