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Open Wooden Stairs

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I'm having to now negotiate 14 open wooden steps down to the garden and back up. The younger dogs are doing ok with it, but Howie is absolutely TERRIFIED and will not willingly on his own do them (yes, I have had to carry him up a couple times - nightmare!). Even with my inept assistance, he almost got to the bottom last night and FELL at the last two steps so now he is REALLY scared (and I do not blame him one bit).

 

His back end is getting weaker with age (he is 13 and 3 months now) and I think I just need to figure out a way to get him down and up that will not kill my back or cause ME to fall, and MAYBE he will start doing one or the other slowly when he gets more confidence (though I am not holding out hope since I've been trying to teach him a dog door off and on for the last 9 years and he has never learned - or won't is a better explanation!).

 

Any ideas besides a harness? The reason I am saying that is that it may take me several days to get a greyhound size harness and I have a need to get them down and up at least 4 times a day in the short term. Will try to get a harness and see if that is the solution.

 

Any creative ideas welcome. Thanks!

 

P.S. Not optional to leave him down. We LIVE at the top of the stairs.


ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

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I would have hubby install risers on those stairs. That shouldn't be a huge project, as long as he owns a saw.


SummerGreytalkSignatureResized-1.jpg

Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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Temporary fix for the fear might be just a carpet runner to cover up the fact that there are no risers -- and that is something you might be able to install even if you're renting, for example. I'm not crazy about it as a long-term solution -- staples come loose, etc., so it takes some maintenance -- but it is quick and easy. I would *also* see if somebody in town has a harness you could borrow to try out for a few days.

 

Hugs to both of you.


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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It never crossed my mind that you may be renting. Hmmm, if so, I guess the landlord would have to approve the installation of risers. The carpet runner idea is excellent in that situation, as it's a more temporary thing. And in Texas you don't have to deal with snow and ice build-up on it. If it's just grip you need and he's not actually afraid of the open spaces... there's gritty tread strips you can buy and install. If they are too pricy (I have no idea), alternatively, you can use regular roofing shingles and cut them accordingly.

 

BTW, the standard PetSmart dog harness CAN be altered way out of whack and become wearable by a greyhound. The picture in my signature is of Summer wearing a PetSmart harness. It's not her normal one, it was just until her nicer Wiggles Wags and Whiskers harness arrived, but it certainly did the job and PetSmart keeps them in stock.


SummerGreytalkSignatureResized-1.jpg

Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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Guest sheila

the only things I can think of is either a sling that you can use to hold up his back end, or some sort of ramp. If you know anyone with carpentry skills perhaps you could have a ramp built that would accomodate his needs.

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In a pinch I've put a towel under Piper's tuck and held onto the ends above his back and used that as a make shift sling. It permits me to support his rear and help his balance on stairs. The longer beach towel style is a bit easier to use.

 

I think he finds this all very undignified so I earn some serious stink eye from him but it does the job.

 

--Lucy


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Lucy with MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, and Miles the slinky kitty (OSH).
Missing Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin) and Winston

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Thanks for the suggestions. The stairs DO need weatherstripping. They had them before but we pulled them up because they were coming loose and potentially hazardous. Will take care of that some time this week. I'm not sure about a runner, but that is an idea to pursue (outdoor stairs that is why).

 

My short term solution is the sling many people suggested and I made one by putting a t-shirt on him and holding the sides.

 

He seems to be getting "down" better but up is still full of trauma and drama, drooling, panting and fear = even going VERY slowly, so I've had to carry him up the last few times. No big deal as I have the leg and upper body strength to do it, but I DO need to get him to try to do some of it on his own because I have a disk that likes to go out every so often and can't risk it with all that's coming up in the next few weeks.

 

I'm going to try to get the harness tomorrow.

 

Thanks again for suggestions.


ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

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Guest june

I only have a few stairs, but rather than purchase a runner (which was expensive) I bought a cheap indoor/outdoor carpet and cut it to fit the stairs. Instead of using staples I bought cheap wood trim and use that along the sides to secure the carpeting. My dogs love it because it covers the open risers and provides good traction.

Good luck,

june

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I wish I had a solution for you - I do have a harness if you need to borrow one still? I hope Howie is doing better with the stairs today and I'm jealous you've managed our dream of living at the beach.


Lake Jackson, Texas

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He's doing better. Up is actually the easier part now, but I still have to support him because he panics and slips sometimes. I am supposing that will be the routine for the foreseeable future. It's not a problem. I owe him the help after all these years and I do think it will be less scary for him in a few weeks time.

 

We just got back in from last potty and it had rained and I MUST get the weatherstripping done SOON. The stairs can be slick when wet. The younger dogs got down and up ok but it made me nervous.

 

We sure are liking living on the water, however, so the trade off is worth it.


ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

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Pupdate: Howie came up the stairs all by himself on New Year's Eve and again today.

 

I am SOOOOOOOOO proud! :colgate

 

(we are still going down together and assisted, however, and will be for the time bein....)


ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

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Pupdate and Brag: It's now been 2 months since we moved in and YESTERDAY....he walked DOWN the stairs ALL BY HIMSELF (Howie). TWICE!!

 

All ye who move to a house with stairs..do not lose hope! Be patient (pretty much unlike me :lol ). THEY DO GET IT EVENTUALLY!

 

yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

 

p.s. shortly after we moved in I put him on a pulsing schedule of Sam-E, baby aspirin and Glucosamine. I think all that has helped some mild stiffness tremendously. He's 13 and 5 months and looking great.


ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

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Guest greymama002

:yay:confetti:banana Great Job, Howie! And great job to you too for helping him gain confidence.

Now all we need is a picture of the sweet ole boy!

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Guest PiagetsMom

Good to hear that Howie is doing so much better with the stairs! I didn't know that you'd moved down to the Galveston area - I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your new location :)

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Glad to hear your boy is doing better. I don't think this was mentioned yet, but one thing to try might be some cheap weed prevention black fabric (Lowes or Home Depot). Cut pieces and then staple them to back of stairs to create a closed in stair look. I've known of several people to try this and it was like magic.

 

Also, Carol from God's Greyts makes a special harness/support sling and it had been

wonderful for those with weak hind ends. I feel for you all, as my Pistol (12) is getting very weak in his hind end too.


Kathryn, “Broadway” BW’s Broadway: Shaggy Bessie x Jimbo Red Rose, & "Ellie" Noah's Smelldog: Castor Troy x Mulberry Jade. My Angels "Sidney" Rainier Rapper: Rainier Ranger x Rainier Rapport (09/03/2001-2/26/2012); "Pistol" Tiowa Pistol: Rapido Rambo x My Roz (11/19/1998-8/02/2011); “Perry" Tiowa Perry: Rapido Rambo x My Roz (11/19/1998-6/09/2010); "Jackie" Mjp's Jackie: Joey Flint x Social Robin (6/12/1997-6/20/2008)

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