Jake’s legs are not doing great.  The biggest challenge isn’t even the downtime, it’s how to keep him moving (specifically on walks) but still protect his feet.  When he walks (outdoors), even on good days, he drags and knuckles and that results in scrapes and bleeding.  You don’t realize how much he drags on one walk until you put socks or Pawz on him and when you come home, there are holes.  I have bought 4 different varieties of socks, they all failed. I even tried doubling them up.  Two different sizes of Pawz (small = too tight and impossible to get on and Med = too big and he has a hard time walking in them).  I bought boots AND shoes, both a no go because they are just too heavy for legs that are already struggling to stay upright.  Our most awesome dog walker has even taken to sewing him custom-made booties (taking into account all the things that don’t work above and trying to create something worthy of the little monkey)! Seriously, how amazing is she!

I want him to go on all the walks, I don’t want a life where we leave the house for some walks and he can’t go with us.  But going on walks that get cut short due to sock failure is not working out great either.  Melvin needs a few good walks a day.

I thought about getting him his wheelchair now, for use only on walks. The neurologist is pretty adamant that we don’t rely too much on the wheelchair YET, that we keep him working on getting around on his own.  We’d still have him on legs at home and in the yard (he does great in grass).  The challenge with getting him up and running (pun intended) on the wheelchair now is that Jake can barely stand still outside in the summer without overheating, in fact, during warm months, heat exhaustion for him begins at the thought of going outside.  Strapping him to a wheelchair during the summer would be like setting him on fire in a field of straw and yelling ‘good luck little buddy’.

So I am now considering two things that I honestly never saw myself needing to contemplate:  getting him a carrier (like I would wear him) or getting a pet stroller.  Neither of those options feels right to me but they seem pretty right for Jake.  I know plenty of people who stroll their dogs around, I just never thought it would be necessary for us.  So this is probably a moment where I need to be realistic about Jake’s future. Leaving him home, sad-faced and feeling like we only take fulling-functioning-legged-creatures on walks is not an option. We are an equal opportunity household.   So now,  there are currently 10 different pet strollers, two wagons and a few carriers in my Amazon cart.

I’ll keep you posted.  I wouldn’t count on the carrier option happening… Jake is 32 pounds and I’m not sure how I could ‘carry’ him and still be able to pick up after Melvin.  That seems dangerous, for everyone.  And, he’d probably pee on me.

After I taint your clean towel, please put me in a papoose and carry me.  4 15 14

37 thoughts on “Strolling.

  1. Oh…poor Jake! I’m not sure that it would help much or be doable while walking Melvin, but have you considered one of those sling things? I’ve seen people use them on dogs that have had hip surgery or are very arthritic. They kind of just help hold the back end up. While Boney doesn’t have a hard time moving around any more (horray diet and losing weight!) I seriously considered getting a wagon or something for him to go on walks with us. I hated leaving him at home when I used to walk Dixie (and now Moby) but he goes way to slow for us. I know he’d enjoy being with us, but being a short snouted critted also tends to overheat. Can’t wait to see what you get! Jake will be stylin’ I’m sure!

    • I have a sling in the cart! But Jake is pretty wiggly and I worry that will make him overheat even more. Whatever we get, we are going to bedazzle the hell out of it!

  2. 1. This is hard stuff. I’m sorry you’re going through this with Jake. You’re awesome and so is that dog walker of yours!
    2. I laughed so hard when I imagined you wearing him in a carrier. Please do that just once and take a photo!
    3. I feel like a skateboard should be involved in this somehow. .

  3. Hmmm…how bout a wagon for Jake and a pulling harness for Melvin? Sounded good to me until I thought of pooping logistics and that made me laugh almost as hard as the thought of you bending over to clean up after Melvin with Jake in a carrier.

    We have a man in our neighborhood who faithfully walks his old pug in a stroller. Every day. I’ve never seen the pug walk on his own but this man’s dedication to giving his dog a daily walk long after he couldn’t walk on his own warms my heart. I know this man to be a kindred spirit even though all we ever do is wave hi to each other. I bet Jake in a stroller will bring warm smiles & good cheer wherever he goes!

    • Ok, this just made me so happy and has made me pro-stroller in an instant! I may even get the stroller a flag! Thank you, this is the perfect reminder of what unconditional love means!

  4. Tough problem, but Jake’s lucky to have you diligently working on a solution. I think no matter what idea you go with, Jake will just be happy you have worked to bring him along for the figurative/literal ride.

  5. So sorry that this is even an issue for you and Jake, but (I know I sound like a broken record) I am SO glad he’s yours. I think it’s amazing how quickly you move to problem-solving mode. Also, I think there is nothing more appropriate than having a Jakemobile. Love.

  6. You really deserve a super mom award. For what it’s worth, I think a wagon would be a little more dignified than a stroller. Throw a cushion and a couple blankets in there and he’d have his own little mobile thrown! Plus you could tie empty poop bags to it, cart around water for breaks on extra long walks, the possibilities are endless, really. Whatever you do I know it will be perfect for our little buddy. Xo!

    • Thanks love! I have a wagon in the shopping cart, the only issue is how low it is (not an issue for him but human backs might break if we have to walk and hunch over). The higher wagons are too big. This should indicate to you just how much time i’ve been on Amazon this week!

  7. I saw go with the stroller! And, that will probably get him lots of extra lovin’ from friendly passerbys! 🙂 PS-Have you considered water therapy for him? I can’t remember if that was one of the options you mentioned when you got his diagnosis. I wonder if it would help at all?

  8. Oh poor Jake, I’m sorry little man! Are you using a sling or anything right now to help him move along and not put as much weight on his joints and feet? But a stroller would be cool too. And, just think if you did get something to carry him in you’d develop some major upper body strength!

  9. Ugh I’m sorry poor Jake is going through this. I know there are some great dog wheelchairs out there that are super comfy and functional. Props to you for working so hard to make him comfortable!

  10. Oh man, I totally know this feeling. Now begins the balance of meeting both dogs needs that are so so very different. When we lived in a condo I started walked them separately because Pug couldn’t handle walks. I did get a papoose of sorts but it was awkward and ended up hurting my back and I felt like he was crumpled inside and that wasn’t good for his legs either. So then I put some blankets in a small gym bag and carried him around while walking Maize but he was heavy! Last year we went to Milwaukee’s Pugfest with a friend who has a stroller (I’ll get the name of the brand for you) and we put Pug in it and I have to say, I was in heaven. It was such a smooth ride and my back didn’t hurt and he was comfortable. We didn’t end up getting one because now we express his bladder and he doesn’t really need to go on walks. Plus at that time Maize was so skittish I was scared she wouldn’t walk next to it. However, when we have kids, I am set on getting a stroller that has a spot for Pug in it so he can always come with. I am saying all of this because you are on the right path doing all the right things and being the most amazing pet parent ever. This is a tough road to travel and I am here for you.

  11. As I was reading this, I immediately thought of a pet stroller. You could even put cooling things in with him to keep him comfy.

  12. I am so sorry that you and Jake are having to go through this. It’s tough. We have friends with three Golden Retrievers, and they’re thinking about getting some sort of a wagon for the mama dog because she just can’t handle the walks but still really, really wants to go with everyone else. We also have a Schnauzer friend in the neighborhood who recently got his very own personal stroller. You should see him sit up in that thing–as if to say, “Yeh, I’m the man. The humans push me.”–and get this . . . his name is Jake. It’s a sign. 😉

  13. Oh my! cant wait for the first pic of Jake on his Jakemobile!! pretty soon he will be greeting the adoring masses when he strolls down the sidewalk. I’m so moved by your commitment to your boy’s well being.

  14. Just checked out the doggy ride stroller, it looks awesome! I never would have thought of getting a stroller before either, but it sounds like the perfect solution.
    Have you tried Vetwrap on his back paws? It’s easy to custom wrap as it only sticks to itself, a friend uses it to wrap her flyball dogs’ legs since they tend to slide into home plate. It comes in a lot of great colors & patterns too. 🙂

  15. Well, it’s sounding like you’ve decided on the stroller. I think that that’s a perfect solution! Save the knuckles, save the body from heatstroke, save the dignity. Jake would love a stroller!

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