This is Skittle. He’s one of our 3 furry children. He’s been a part of our lives for 14-1/2 years. His eye sight has been failing and we believe that now he is completely blind.
Stairs especially present a problem. Some time ago, we moved the dog cage from our bedroom on the second floor to the family room on the first floor. This helped Skittle tremendously as he no longer needed to navigate a flight of stairs. Even though he can’t be with us at night, his litter mate, Scout, shares the cage with him so he’s not alone.
More recently, Skittle began to have increasingly more difficulty with the steps out to the backyard. Except for some arthritis, he is in good health for a dog his age. He prefers not to be handled, so carrying him up and down the steps really wasn’t an option.
Our original plan was to build a ramp that would fit over the existing steps and could be removed when it was no longer needed. We soon discovered that there really is a logic to the “rise” and “run” when considering a ramp. Hubby had it secured, but not completely installed when we gave it a try. It turned out to be more of an amusement park ride for the dogs as they slid down it and then scrambled to climb it. To make matters worse, it was also a challenge for humans as well. We could imagine all sorts of mishaps once we got into the winter weather.
So then it was on to Plan B.
We decided that wider steps would be a better option and Hubby set to work. The steps are now 3 times the depth of the orginals and provide a platform at each level. Skittle can take his time and has plenty of room to move down at a more controlled pace. We still need to coach him down each level, but he is doing quite well.
The other dogs seem to like them too! Even Benson, my Mom’s dog, who is stair challenged as well, is navigating them with no difficulty!