Going the extra mile to help canine arthritis – meet the Corkie Stair Lift

I love the fact that we dog carers go to extra lengths to make our dogs comfy. The award of the year for 2017 has to go to Corkie’s Dad. He has built him a Corkie Stair Lift.

Corkie is a 12 year rescue who spends all his time with his Dad. Recently he started to show signs of slowing down and discomfort so was taken to the vet who suggested there was some arthritis in his mid-spine. Shoulders and hips felt fine though.

Corkie lives in a lovely house which unfortunately has many flights of narrow stairs to get to the top floor. There was no way his Dad could ask him to continue climbing those. He had to be carried. But it was a long way. His Dad would end up doing his own back in which would be bad news for both. Also, picking Corkie up the wrong way could make his spinal issues more uncomfortable. It would only need him to wriggle or twist and that would exacerbate his arthritis. Cue some wonderful resourceful inventiveness. His Dad came up with the Corkie Stair Lift (CSL).

The inspiration was a basket used to carry things – but with an extra twist. CSL Mk1 was a bit heavy and clumsy. He’s now on CSL Mk2 which is a wooden lightweight open ended carrying frame with a fluffy cushion for Corkie to sit in. A treat is inserted into the frame. Corkie enters the frame. Corkie lies down. Dad carries Corkie in the CSL down the stairs. At the bottom, Corkie walks out of the CSL into the hall. No effort on his back.
How amazing is that? Much admiration to Corkie’s Dad.

Apparently CSL Mk3 is on the cards which will be a lighter slightly thinner version so Corkie fits snugly inside. Corkie’s Dad’s inventions are going to be bigger than Bitcoins next year!

Meanwhile, Corkie is up for complementary therapy to help him manage his arthritis. He is already on supplements. As well as the CSL ©, carpets are now being used to cover the wooden floors. Food bowls are raised. And a ramp has been bought for the car.

All that is left is a massage lesson – which was why I was called round. That was my job for the day.

After a quick tour of Corkie’s body, his Dad started working with him. If Corkie could speak, he would have said “At last Dad….at last. That is sooooooo good”. Corkie is the new definition of receptive. We knew exactly where he needed his help – mainly along his stiff back muscles. Every time his Dad hit the spot Corkie closed his eyes in ecstasy and grinned.

In fact, by the end of the 2 hour session, Corkie decided that anywhere was good. Anywhere and everywhere. Thighs. Shoulders. Neck. Chest. Just bring it on Dad.

When we’d finished, Corkie was prancing around the room looking so much happier and flexier.

But this session was not all about Corkie. His Dad needed to feel that he could do something for Corkie. I think this was a result too as he said “I now feel inspired to help Corkie”. That’s my job done.

With this early diagnosis from the vet, daily physical therapy from a wonderful inventive Dad after our guided instruction session, some recommendations on exercise and other therapies, plus Corkie’s receptive nature, this little fella should be looking at a comfortable 2018 with lots of fun and walks.

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