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.