A fellow pet parent contacted Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog recently and asked if I could recommend a product that had a flat surface and wheels so her paralyzed dog could lie on top of it and be easily pushed from one to room to another in their home. Both of us pictured a device that looked like the dolly a mechanic uses while working underneath a car.
I didn’t know of anything other than an actual mechanic’s dolly, but I thought the idea was very clever. Someone should invent a padded version of a mechanic’s dolly for large paralyzed dogs. The question brought back a flood of memories about Sophie and made me remember a very important lesson that I haven’t shared. Owners of paralyzed dogs should be prepared to do everything twice.
Sophie spent most of her time indoors lying on the soft bed with a satin underside that I’ve talked about in many other stories. It made it easy for me to pull her into a new room. The bed was a lifesaver because I didn’t have to lift my 50lb. dog up each time with a harness, but it certainly wasn’t a timesaver.
Sophie wanted to be by my side wherever I went in the house so that meant either having a hand free to pull her along with me or I had to grab what I needed and come back to get her.
If that doesn’t make sense picture the buzzer of your dryer going off while you’re sitting at your desk working…. Of course Sophie would be at the desk too. I would walk to the laundry room, remove the clothes and carry them into my bedroom for folding. Unfortunately that left Sophie still lying by my desk.
While I repeatedly tried to reason with her that I would only be gone for 5 minutes, she would start to whine about being left alone. Most of the time I would go back to my desk and pull into the bedroom to be with me.
This scene played out at our house countless times a day as I unpacked groceries, prepared meals, carried work papers to my desk, brought a snack to watch TV and as I gathered my belongings to take into the bedroom at night. Ironically Sophie was never in the room I was heading toward! And you’d be surprised how many items you carry in your arms all day long from one room to the next in your house.
So I completely understood the brilliant question asked by the fellow pet parent. She explained that as soon as she sat down and settled herself comfortably to watch TV at night, her dog would decide she wanted to move to another part of the room. Like Sophie this dog didn’t have enough strength to drag her body along the floor so it meant that her human mom would have to do it for her and the poor woman was exhausted.
I loved Sophie with my whole heart and feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to take care of her during the 5 years she was paralyzed, but having to do tasks two times instead of once was a big challenge for me. Other pet parents of disabled dogs, especially big dogs should be prepared for this challenge as well. And if you know a creative person who could design a fluffy, lightweight mechanic’s dolly for paralyzed dogs please know there are a bunch of us who would be forever grateful.
READ MORE ABOUT “THE LESSONS” I LEARNED FROM SOPHIE HERE.
Sophie’s favorite harness.